Holy balls almighty (Pistons-Pacers riot)

Did anybody else see this? You will, if you haven’t. A borderline dirty foul by Artest just degenerated into one of the ugliest brawls I’ve ever seen. A fan threw a beer on Artest, so Artest went after him, and holy shit, I can’t even begin to describe it. Players in the stands, fans on the court, chickens eating foxes, the whole fucking ball of fuck. I saw at least three fans punching players in the back of the head.

The worst thing is, it was completely the fans’ fault. Ron Artest didn’t do a damn thing wrong, in my opinion, other than the general notion that violence is wrong. He was literally lying on the scorer’s table, completely calm, despite the fact that A) Wallace went after him and B) Artest is the craziest god-damned motherfucker in the world. Those Pistons fans are fucking animals. I will be completely shocked if nobody is seriously, seriously injured – Rip Hamilton looked like he was hurt, for one. Fuck me Freddy, that was something.

Also, Stephen Jackson is really, really out of his mind.

Yeah, I was just composing a post about it. Riot was the word I used, too. Artest’s foul was unnecessary, but Wallace (Ben, not Rasheed!) overreacted with the shove. Anyway the whole thing was probably settling down when that jackass threw the beer.

For those of you who didn’t watch the end of this game on ESPN, you’re going to see it soon, probably on the news and definitely all over the sports channels. Absolutely the worst thing I’ve ever seen at a sporting event.

Artest went into the stands after that fan, and in the end a number of other players went in as well. I think most of them were trying to restrain him and watch out, but in the end there were punches thrown all over the place (I think only at Pacers players, this was in Detroit). This lasted several minutes as security frantically tried to calm things down. Larry Brown tried to make an announcement to the fans, but nobody could hear him. You could see he was furious. Finally the players headed for the lockerroom, and the fans dumped sodas and drinks and ice and popcorn on them and threw just about everything they could. Complete chaos, and the game was called.

The fans were shitty beyond belief. What can you say about people who sit near the court and throw crap at the players? Or throw punches at outnumbered players, or just hurl things at them? What a bunch of asses.


I thought John Saunders was gonna blow a gasket.

I was channel surfing and caught the very beginning of the fight. I couldn’t believe what was going on, either. Poor showing by the fans, to put it mildly. I agree with the ESPN announcers who commented on the fight after the game was called. Those fans are punks.

You should never go after a fan. Period. Let security eject him or arrest him, whichever is called for. Going after him only opens you up to a giant lawsuit and sanctions by the league.

Crap, I missed it. I hope they show it on Sportscenter. That sounds like great basketball.

Yeah, it opens you up to lawsuits and punishment from the league, but how the hell can you expect these guys to sit there and get shit rained down on them like that? I’ll tell you one thing, if I was Artest, and that motherfucker was twenty feet away from me smirking like that, I’d have done the same thing. I put this 100% on the fans, regardless of whether or not Artest should have retaliated. He’s a human being, after all, and you can’t just sit there and get pelted. Well, he’s a sort of humanoid alien, most likely, but close enough.

By the way, I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you, spooje, just saying that under the circumstances, I don’t fault Artest for losing his paper-thin grasp on near-sanity.

Diogenes, you won’t even have to wait for Sportscenter. There’s seven minutes left until halftime of the second game, and no doubt the halftime show will feature the Zapruder film of the beering.

It’s a tough situation. I can totally understand the human reaction but there’s just too much downside to letting a player retaliate against a fan even if the fan completely deserves it. You might get fans trying to bait players into violence to score on lawsuits, not only against the player but against the league, the venue and whoever else they can think of. It sucks to have to hold back but this is a case where security just has to be allowed to do its job and toss these punks out.

Reminds me of the Dodgers-Cubs game at Wrigley a few years back. The fans were complete assholes and threw things at Dodger players. One fan took the catchers mask off the catcher’s head (he was the bullpen catcher) Several Dodgers went into the stands. All who did were suspended and fined. I don’t know if any were sued.

I guess I just don’t see why an NBA player is any different than me in this situation. Yeah, he’s got money, and yeah, the fans are there to see him play, but what’s the difference between Artest facemashing the guy in the stands and me attacking somebody who beers me in the street?

I’m watching ESPN and the reporter sounds like he’s about to burst into tears. Very weird.

The fans are total scum. I understand getting fired up at a game but there’s simply no excuse for attacking players, no matter how flagrant the foul. I don’t blame the Pacers for reacting the way they did–it’s one thing for players to go at it hard and another for fans to assault players which is what happened here.

The difference? Several million dollars a year, that’s the difference. For the money they are expected to play ball and behave themselves so that people will continue to fill the seats. Attacking fans does not usually result in repeat business. They are paid a king’s ransom to play basketball and do nothing else. Fans, however, are gouged at the gate for the opportunity to see Ron Artest be a thug. Not a fair trade, if you ask me.

He is paid well to suck it up. He wanted fame and all the trappings of it, well, there it is. He has been a total unmitigated prick, and now the pigeons are coming home to roost. And he has the gall to attack a fan?

Shit. If he came after me in the stands I’d have beat him unconscious, athlete or not.

I just saw the highlights on ESPN. Man, that was probably the ugliest brawl I’ve ever seen in sports. I feel Artest’s pain but he initially went after the wrong fan. That’s part of the problem when players retaliate. They can’t always tell who the asshole was and there’s a chance the wrong dude can get drilled in the face.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with the players but I hope that guy in the hat who threw the beer (and rabbit punched Artest twice in the head) gets arrested and charged as well as any other fan who can be indentified from the tapes who threw punches, beer or chairs.

Who are those people? I’ve been a sports fan my whole life. I’ve known a lot of other sports fans. I’ve been to hockey games, baseball games, basketball games and football games. It has never once crossed my mind to throw anything at a player and I’ve never known any other fans who would do that. Where do these people come from?

What the fuck are you talking about, Doors? Did Artest sign a contract that said “I agree that I am subject to the whims of drunken fans, and at no point will I ever make an effort to protect myself?” He was fucking sitting there waiting for the game to restart, and he got pelted. Who’s the thug, again?

By the way, Ron Artest would beat your fucking ass six ways from Sunday. Who the fuck are you trying to kid?

Yes, that’s exactly what he did. When has it ever been acceptable for an athlete to go into the stands after a fan, no matter what the fan did? That’s right, never. There’s no reason for it to be spelled out, unless you’re dealing with a goon like Artest, who apparently has zero sense.

You think so. He’d get one shot. After that he’d never play basketball again, so he’d better make it a good one. If I’m the one being the asshole I’ll take my whipping like a man. If he attacks me and I didn’t do anything like he apparently did to that one fan, he’d be lucky if he could see again. And I wouldn’t stop with that, either. I’ve been the victim of so many beatdowns from sniveling cowards who were too chickenshit to face me by themselves or step to my face that I decided were I ever to get into another fight it would be for keeps. And that’s the name of that tune.

Incidentally, I am not backing the fans in this. But it’s not Artest’s responsibility to take the matter into his own hands. That’s the job of security.

Also, Ron Artest is bigger than 99.9% of the people in that arena. He’s faster, he’s stronger, and he’s so much bigger that proportionally speaking anyone attacked would be able to do pretty much whatever they wanted to to defend themselves. So he’s risking his career by doing that, because God knows what a fan has on them at any given time.

Not that that surprises me in the case of Artest. Thank God he can play basketball, because if he couldn’t he’d be either dead or in jail.

Even though you’re right, it comes across like you’re saying the whole incident is Artest’s fault, not the ass who threw the beer at him. Maybe you could beat up a 6’7" 250-pound crazy guy and maybe you couldn’t, but if Artest agreed to be reasonable, so did the fan. Just about every single person in this incident overreacted.

What do you mean, when has it been acceptable? Every god damn time the fans attack the players, that’s when. What’s so special about the fan-player dynamic that makes the fan untouchable? You fire objects at somebody and they attack you, it’s your fault, no matter who you or they are. You disagree with that? What about when fans run onto the field of play? Should the players just scatter while they wait for security to handle things?

As far as your Artest fantasy, OK. You could handle 250 pounds of pure crazy because you decided you would. Makes sense.

Is it on the Net yet? (for those of us you loathe sports channels)

Here’s an article about it on SI.