The Airing of Grievances
Saturday, November 20, 2004
NBA Mayhem

Here was my initial reaction upon seeing the brawl (that Frank linked to below):

Ron Artest should be kicked out of the league (or at the very least suspended for the season). Not really that complicated. Blah, blah, blah and all that shit about the fans, Detroit and whatever. Artest clearly has mental issues and he's a danger to everyone else out there. No way, no how should he be going into the stands. No way, now how should he be throwing those blows at Turtle. Completely unacceptable. And his deplorable "body of work" should not be ignored. (Highest comedy of the situation was dude in the black t-shirt's face when Artest rushed him. Hilarious.)
Well, I've had some time to think it over and my sentiments are pretty much the same. Artest needs to be given some serious time off. The man clearly needs counseling and very likely should be institutionalized. He's been pulling this borderline certifiable crap for some time now. His nonsense needs to be nipped in the bud before somebody gets killed. Really, how utterly ridiculous was that scene last night? Of course, Artest is not one-hundred percent responsible, but he clearly deserves the lion's share of the blame. If he's not involved, none of this stuff happens in the first place. Period.

A bunch of Artest apologists are running the heat of the moment argument. That is, that the frenzied and tense nature of the situation somehow absolves him from blame. That almost anybody would have done the same thing under those circumstances. To that I say a very hearty Bullshit. You simply can not go into the stands and start taking matters into your own hands. In no other professional line of work would such nonsense be considered even remotely acceptable. And what makes it worse here, is that these professionals are well-oiled machines who very likely would send the average joe to the hospital, if not the morgue, if they land a solid punch. So, please, if you are, stop defending Artest.

In any event, if I'm David Stern, Artest's getting at least a year off. Perhaps during that year, in between working on his wack ass rap "career", he can seriously consider whether or not as an adult "I can do whatever I want to do" as he said in an interview last week. In the end, one word sums up Artest and his actions. Disgraceful.
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