I think we can kinda stop the "Metta World Peace" stuff. Seems more than a little done after his complete decking of James Harden.
First, can we get this out of the way?
Yes, Ron Artest (I think "Ron" has been playing for a few weeks now) deserves a suspension. Absolutely. That was an abhorrent act that has no place on the basketball court. Ever. I in no way, shape or form condone what he did.
But calls for "20 games", "a whole season"... and even "a lifetime ban" are so idiotic that they are ludicrous.
Are you people trying to assert that it was any where near the ballpark of Jermaine O'Neal's role in the Malice in the Palace? Or worse than those that ran up into the stands (yes, it's not lost on me that Ron Artest was one of those)? Or how about bringing GUNS to an arena, and threatening a teammate with their use???
Some perspective please.
Some have stated that it's similar in severity to Andrew Bynum's smackdown of JJ Barea last season, and should be assessed as such. Well... that's kinda wrong on three levels: 1) as severe and stupid and out of line as that play was, it was during play. This wasn't. 2) Bynum was hit with 5 games due to similar incidents during that season. 3) Bynum lined Barea up, and completely understood what he was doing. I do not believe that Ron Artest fully comprehended what he was doing.
Still... I'd guess 3-5 games is what should be the penalty. I lean towards 5.
The only issue will be if David Stern bows to the pressures of media/social media, and gets hysterical about it. If it's in double digits, that is exactly what has happened.
On Ron... quite a few have written, "What was he thinking?"
That's just it. He wasn't.
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Just for kicks here..... KG does the same thing to pick any schmo from any team not the Lakers. How many games are you calling for? Try to forget the 7 games handed down here.
@brumbygg EVEN if it were the Lakers, 3-5 games. Hell, Wade should have copped a ban when he clobbered Kobe in the ASG.
@brumbygg KG's a douche. Absolutely. But precedence should be followed.
Don't believe? That's entirely your prerogative.
Ron should get 5-7 games, he will get more. Stern hates Kobe = Stern hates Lakers The Lakers have had issues with Harden EVERY game this year with OKC. Harden did NOT deserve the elbow, but he is a constant talker and likes to antagonize. He sought out Ron after that play to try and get him riled up...looks like it worked- congrats. Players swing their elbows ALL the time when they feel someone crowding their space...just most don't connect or don't have the same umph Ron does...hows the ceiling looks James??
@watermanblue2 I think it's important to focus on the "he did not deserve the elbow"...
The problem with a longer suspension, is intent. Bynum intended to hurt Berea. Artest's swinging seemed more of a get off of me swing. I judge crimes by intent. I don't believe Artest intended to hurt anyone, Bynum clearly did.
@wfundina I showed the video of the elbow to my girlfriend, and we both came to the conclusion (similar to Mal) that Artest didn't know what he was doing. That shouldn't excuse him, far from it - to me, it's a cause for greater concern. If he's prone to episodes where he can't control his actions, and given his somewhat violent history, I think that's a huge worry. He's a loose cannon, simple as that.
I'm one of those hoping for a longer suspension - what he did was disgusting, and it concerns me, given his track record, what could be next. Obviously it's not exactly fair to punish him for what he might do, so I'm not necessarily suggesting that be the case... What I would like to see, is a much harder stance from the league in general with this sort of thing. You made the comparison to the Bynum and O'Neal incidents, and asked if this was worse - but first you should be asking, were they properly punished in the first place? O'Neal was centimeters away from potentially killing a man. Bynum was fortunate Barea didn't suffer any long-term damage, which was a real possibility with a mid-air hit like that. And Artest... Well, what if Harden is knocked out and hits his head on the ground on the way down? I understand that you're a Laker fan sticking up for your guy. Don't quote me, but I seem to recall you doing the same with Bynum last year. I get that. I do the same, for my team. I'm not saying you're wrong - 5 games is probably all he'll get. But that doesn't mean he - and those before him - didn't deserve more.
@MichaelSaunders Not at all. I think you're being slightly unfair on "sticking up for your guy".
Ron will get what he deserves. Bynum got what he deserved. All I stated (at that time) was that there were a helluva lot of people getting out the torches and pitchforks without any perspective whatsoever.
You can only work within the parameters of what's set Michael, and the NBA sets those. Yes: Jermaine O'Neal could quite possibly have killed a guy if he'd connected with that punch. He got 15 games. It's not up to us to review history and say "That was wrong therefore Artest should get..."
The reality is that he should be assessed on the history of NBA penalties.
On that, he should get 3-5 (but who knows with Stern?). Anything further than that would be merely kowtowing to the outcry of a vocal group. It would be a helluva lot more subdued if it were... say, Kevin Durant.
@WithMalice I agree that it's only fair Artest is punished similarly to those before him. Where I disagree is that those guys got what they deserved, and I think somewhere along the line it needs to be corrected. And yes, obviously Ron gets blown out of proportion. It's unfortunate that you're probably right about had it been KD or someone else. For me though, even if it was the Nashty one himself, I'd expect as harsh a penalty as I call for with the others.
@JMattHicks Hold on a second, I haven't for one second "defended" what Artest did. There's no "basing a case".
I - and a few others - have stated that he didn't appear to hav e the first idea of what was going on. Yes - the elbow was incredibly vicious. Yes, I think he was aware that there was someone there. But I don't think he was completely aware of what he was doing. As some others have pointed out, this could possibly make it even worse.
Bowen... ummm... you're really going to assert that there was no malicious intent with that clip of him kicking? "Attempting to block"? What, block Wally's face with his foot?
That "flying kick" is considered by many to be the dirtiest play of all time.
And no: it's not merely "seen a youtube clip". Both Vince Carter and Steve Francis were injured by Bowen, and Ray Allen and Carter called him out on it publicly.
Then of course there was the time where he kicked at Amare Stoudemire's legs as he went up to the rim...
@JMattHicks Not at all. "A few moments" - could also be fairly insulting to one's intelligence.
Bruce Bowen time and time again placed his own foot EXACTLY under where players would land from jump shots. Bruce Bowen knew EXACTLY what he was doing - trying to intentionally cause players injury.
Then there's the kicking...
Now, I'm not defending what Artest did. But this has moved a bit away from that now.
I do think that... a) we can't really speak to "how Artest feels" - that's a bit of a stretch, don't you think? & b) you're analogy isn't really that relevant.
@JMattHicks @MichaelSaunders I disagree whole-heartedly. The guy has made very great grounds on what he *was*, and I still believe that he has - for the most part - changed. He hasn't been violent (intentionally or otherwise) for more than a few years now... until James Harden. The incidents you name absolutely were a pattern of self-destructive behavior, and that was behavior he has since sought help for. Would that more people could admit to needing help.
"...he's a liability to the safety and integrity of the game every time he steps on the court." And I hate to say this, but that's a similar thought I had about Bruce Bowen. Yet his jersey now hangs from the rafters of the Spurs' arena.
@WithMalice Doesn't the league change its rules all the time? What would be wrong with introducing harsher penalties from the start of next season regarding this sort of thing? I'd propose all flagrant-2s garner an automatic one game suspension (subject to review - not all calls are the right ones, of course) and for elbows, punches, kicks, especially to areas near the head something like a minimum of 5 games. That would include Artest, Kevin Love (on Scola) KG last season on Frye, Bruce Bowen's hi-kicks, etc. as well as plays like Robin Lopez' hard foul on Blake resulting in a suspension. There's no need for this kind of crap.
Sorry about the wall of text... I guess either iPad or livefyre don't like paragraphs? I tried, promise!
@brumbygg As stated before: intent is absolutely important.
He made incidental contact as he backed away from the basket. Without bothering to see who he had made contact with, he threw a wild elbow causing injury to a member of the opposing team. What do you think his 'intent' was when he brought up his elbow and smashed it into the side of Harden's head? "Not aware of what he was doing" is almost worse. So, what you're saying is he has control issues and no one can predict when he might explode again?
I believe in legal terms that falls under 'reckless endangerment'. He had no idea who it was, or what damage he was about to do. He wasn't looking, he wasn't thinking....
@brumbygg I agree that 'not aware' is possibly worse, but if that was Ibaka, it hits him in the chest.
Do you really, really believe that he intended to hit Harden in the head with an elbow and cause damage? Are you looking at where he's (Artest) is looking?
@brumbygg Where the hell's the "unlike" button???
Come on man: intent is ABSOLUTELY important!
@brumbygg And it's 7.
@brumbygg AWESOME! The "perspective" of a foot-stamping, soap-box-stepping, pitch-fork-wielding Celtics fan. Juuuuust what the doctor ordered.
But seriously: given that playoff games are generally assessed as being 2x value, you REALLY think that this is worse than Jermaine O'Neal in the Malice in the Palace? Guy was one spilt drink away from pretty much killing a guy. With intent. And yes Brumby, intent does matter.
Hey, if he did it to a Celtic I would have said a life ban wasn't long enough!
and you left out "gun totin'"