11/21/2004

Rap album or NBA?

Indiana Pacers player Ron Artest will now be able to take the time off he asked for a month ago to do his rap album. Not because he asked nicely but because he is suspended from the NBA for the rest of the season. Friday night Artest ran into the stands during a game because a fan threw a drink at him. This fan was upset because Artest had fouled his Detroit Piston, Ben Wallace. This lead to the biggest brawl in NBA's history.

Not only will Artest not be playing this season but he will also not recieve his $5 million salary pay. Sadly, this probably means nothing to Artest. Did Artest really learn a lesson or is he just getting this time off now for his rap album?

Artest was not the only player suspended from Friday nights brawl. Stephen Jackson is suspended for 30 games and Jermaine O'Neal for 25. The home team of Detroit also has players suspended. Ben Wallace will sit out 6 games and Anthony Johnson 5. Four other players are suspended for one game because they left the bench during the fight. These players are Indiana's Reggie Miller and Detroit's Chauncey Billups, Elden Campbell, and Derrick Coleman. All suspensions are without pay.

Are these too harsh? Some say they are because the fans need to be in control. Others say it will continue to happen unless harsh punishment occurs. I think harsh punishment is not a 10 game suspension. Harsh punishment is not allowing them to play in the NBA again. Suspension just holds back a pay check that some can live their entire life off of.

10 comments:

peter_parker said...

I was annoyed by the situation, especially by the coverage by ESPN. Analysts there were placing all of the blame on the fans, accusing them of being "punks" and making the players seem like vulnerable individuals who suffer a lot of ridicule and are victims of hate crimes. This is absurd. Whoever goes into professional sports knows there will be heckling and tough environments. Yankees fans are praised for their ruthlessness, which is even expended on their own players.

Just a few months ago, a player on the Texas Rangers was ridiculed for his actions when fans continuously yelled racial slurs at him. In the end, he launched a chair into the stands, broke a woman's nose, and a brawl ensued. Analysts then criticized the player for his actions and not the fans. Why the different take on different sports and different races?

One party cannot be blamed here. The players are at fault as well as the fans. Sure fans have the right to taunt and voice their opinion, but the fans at the Pacers/Pistons game came out on the floor throwing punches. That is wrong. It reminded me of South American soccer. However, the players went looking for the fight too. They aren't victims. As a fan, I don't like what happened, but I will say this: Artest deserved retaliation from Ben Wallace and he deserves the suspension. Maybe Wallace shouldn't have acted in that particular fashion, but he needed to put Artest in his place.

Taber Wolrab said...

I don't think that these punishments are to harsh. I agree, I could live off their salary for the rest of my life. I also think that the fans should be punished for their actions as well. If they are going to go to a game they should have atleast have enough respect to not throw items out on the playing court. I think the players could have handled the situation differently, but since they didn't punish them all.

pramahaphil said...

Artest is a punk, despite whether or not Detroit's fans are loud and obnoxious. The genius wanted time off to concentrate on his record label, and he got more than ample time. I think Artest should have been suspended indefinitally.

The two fans that came on the floor to fight deserved the punishment that Artest and his cohort dished out.

Kova said...

The brawl might have been bad for Artest's basketball career but I am sure it will do great things for his rap career. It is sad to look at the entertainment industry and see how sales of a record sky-rocket when that artist is involved in a controversy or scandal of some sort.

Artest got what he deserved by being suspended for the season but I agree with Janet. I don't think his punishment will seem like that big of a deal.

Maudi said...

Ron Artest is a great basketball player,but anybody who thinks that they would be better of quiting the thing that they are good at or taking a month off during the season to do it is stupid. Mr. Artest needs to have a reality check. Just because his friends or his brothers can rap doesn't mean that he can. Mr. Artest I hope that this 73 Game suspension will give you enough time to get your "groove on" if you know what I'm saying.

Jake said...

I thought that it was absolutely hilarious seeing a professional athlete asking for time off. Honestly, it is not an 8 to 5 job with vacation days earned every month. He will obviously have plenty of time now that he can't play for the rest of the year. Hopefully that new album he is trying to promote will make up for the salary he loses for the rest of the season.

Janet said...

Shouldn't these fans get charged for atleast disturbing the peace? A teenager can get in a fight at school and get charged with that so why can't an adult during a public basketball game? It is because they are afraid of losing fans? I think the fans are just as liable as the athletes. It takes two to "tango."

miles said...

I agree with Janet. Many fans take advantage of the situation by pushing the players to their limits. I think that the fans should also receive some punishment. On the other hand, as athletes, these players are somewhat obligated to control themselves and set an example for the many that are watching. As for Artest's punishment...I think that the NBA was right for the suspension and it was an adequate punishment. Luckily for Artest, he has his rap album to fall back on.

Bruce Banner said...

If I was getting paid $5 million plus a year, I could handle having a drink thrown on me. I think this suspension is not harsh at all. I hope this brawl will open up some eyes for other atheletes and think twice to start another. If you are considered to be a professional you then must act professional and I not just saying about atheletes either.

I do not think that the fan has the right to throw his drink or any other object either. Fans need to use common sense and if they do cross the line they also need to be suspended or ejected out.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 for spelling mistakes in the comments by Taber Wolrab, Pramahaphil, Janet, and Bruce_Banner slide.

I especially liked Kova's comment.

Here's a good economics question for you, with ethical and social implications: should penalties be proportional to the crime, or to income?

If its the former, then the penalties should be the same to the fans and to the players who were in the brawl. If its the latter, then the penalties on the players should be higher.

The latter seems unfair, but it also raises the problem for society that crimes become very cheap for the rich.

Finland actually has laws that are based on the latter principal. In a famous case a few years ago, a sausage heir got a $200,000 ticket for going 45 in a 25 zone.