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http://www.indystar.com/articles/9/232835-5149-036.html


When will Pistons be held accountable for security lapses?

http://www.indystar.com/articles/9/232835-5149-036.html

March 29, 2005

In November, the Pacers went to the Palace of Auburn Hills and were goaded into a brawl that effectively destroyed their season.

Friday night, a series of phoned-in bomb threats aimed at the visitors' locker room caused massive delays and serious consternation, especially among fearful Pacers personnel.

Now look at the playoff race.

If the season ended today, it would be the Pacers vs. the Pistons in the first round.

So here is commissioner David Stern's best and last chance to make the Pistons organization and the Palace hierarchy pay for the fact that the Pacers cannot play in that building fully assured of their safety:

Play Detroit's home games -- at least the ones against the Pacers -- in an empty building.

Absurd?

Excessive?

Well, the brawl and the multiple bomb threats were absurd and excessive, and it's time to make the Pistons and their small percentage of loony-tunes fans pay for the way they've treated the visitors from Indiana.


Nov. 19 was bad. This latest episode, though, may have been worse. Nobody, the Pacers included, should have to play a basketball game worried about their safety or even their life.

"What's made this whole thing unfair is, a lot has gone wrong and you know we haven't blamed anybody," Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh said. "But still, all the light has been shined on us. We've clearly taken the brunt of all this."

Which is true, but not completely unjustified. They were, after all, the ones who went into the stands, and the arguments they've presented -- "well, they started it" -- have sounded rather hollow.

But this wasn't entirely a solo act, and the other side has escaped culpability entirely. While the Pacers had their entire season -- Reggie Miller's final season -- entirely eviscerated, nothing has happened to the Pistons.


While the two individual miscreants got lifetime bans from the Palace, nobody has held the Pistons or the Palace responsible for controlling some of the rudest fans in the league. There was no fine for poor security. There was nothing. Just a promise from Stern that the league would review and increase its security presence.

Well, now comes time to hold the Pistons accountable.

Make them play the Pacers in front of empty seats.

The fact is, they do this all the time in international soccer. When a team's fans get out of hand, either at home or when traveling as a fan club on the road, soccer's various federations make the team with the rowdy following play games in an empty stadium.

It's really quite simple.

Get the players and the media in there, and keep everybody else out -- and that includes you, Kid Rock.

Wait a minute. Do you know how many millions the Pistons would lose with two, three or four empty home dates?

Fine.

Let's talk about losing money.

You take the money lost by Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal, you could buy your own Pacific atoll, plus a private jet. (Sadly, Artest's CD sales did not quite make up for the lost cash).

And that doesn't mention the revenue the Pacers -- the healthy and active Pacers -- probably would have made with a reasonably long run in the playoffs.

If you're the Simon brothers, and you're looking at the loss of millions, it's hard to feel much sympathy for the Pistons or the Palace over a few games.


OK, but we're talking about a handful of drunks who touched off the brawl, and one or two lunatics who called in bomb threats. How do we know it wasn't somebody from Indiana, just trying to make the Pistons look bad?

We don't know. We don't know where the calls were coming from, and we don't know what the motivation might have been.

All we know is this: As the Pacers were waiting on their bus and voting over whether to play, the NBA and security chief Stu Jackson were threatening the club with massive fines if they didn't play the game.

Isn't that the way it's been all season?

A Pistons fan does something egregious, and the Pacers are the ones who are put in the position to take the blame.

On Nov. 19, the Pacers clearly stepped over the line. The other night, it was the NBA's turn.

"They (the league) assured us it was safe, so we played," Walsh said. "But yeah, I was angry. They're telling us about bomb threats, and the league is telling us we have to play. This has just been a nightmare year. Not just Nov. 19, but the whole thing."

By now, the Pacers have paid their penance in triplicate. They have played with seven players. They have worked to have the suspended players' salaries donated to local charities. They have stepped up their already considerable efforts, in this community and in other cities, to show that the Pacers should not be defined by Nov. 19. And somehow, they're still going to crawl through the back window into the playoffs.

And the Pistons?

They're complaining because Larry Brown is in the hospital.


Listen, if they win another title, the Pistons should vote Beer Cup Guy and Chair Toss Guy a half-share apiece.

We're all smart enough to know that the vast majority of Pistons fans are cultured and civilized, the same way we know most NBA players would never think to cross the line Artest and others crossed that night.

If it's Pacers-Pistons in the playoffs, though, how can Indiana trust they will get through a series without suffering bodily harm? Twice now this season, the Palace and its fans have failed them. Which leaves the NBA with the one option they're too frightened to consider.

After all, an empty seat never hurt anybody.
Bob Kravitz is one of my favorite writers. He counters any reasonable argument I could conceive a Piston fan coming up with.
 

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Regardless of the Pacers fan inside of me screaming that yes, this would be awesome, this idea does seem absurd to me. Regardless of the problems I have with the Pistons and the way everything was handled this year, the Pistons still have the second best record in the east, and that grants you homecourt advantage for at least the first round...which includes the fans. To deny the Pistons their fans I think would be a travesty to professional basketball...professional sports as a whole as well.

Besides, I WANT to go through the Pistons and their fans and advance to the second round and prove everybody wrong about us.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
StephenJackson said:
Regardless of the Pacers fan inside of me screaming that yes, this would be awesome, this idea does seem absurd to me. Regardless of the problems I have with the Pistons and the way everything was handled this year, the Pistons still have the second best record in the east, and that grants you homecourt advantage for at least the first round...which includes the fans. To deny the Pistons their fans I think would be a travesty to professional basketball...professional sports as a whole as well.

Besides, I WANT to go through the Pistons and their fans and advance to the second round and prove everybody wrong about us.
Of course that would be ideal, but we have to consider the safety of the Pacer players.
 

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PacersguyUSA said:
Of course that would be ideal, but we have to consider the safety of the Pacer players.
Yeah, some time soon I think something serious is going to happen to the Pacers and the league will look like a bunch of idiots. A hijacked plane killing them all really wouldn't become a doubt in my mind as of now. Probably the most outrageous thing is making them play through bomb threats. I would've given them the option to play, but would encourage them not to, while Dictator Stern just threatens fines and suspensions if we don't play.
 

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Pacers Fan said:
Yeah, some time soon I think something serious is going to happen to the Pacers and the league will look like a bunch of idiots. A hijacked plane killing them all really wouldn't become a doubt in my mind as of now. Probably the most outrageous thing is making them play through bomb threats. I would've given them the option to play, but would encourage them not to, while Dictator Stern just threatens fines and suspensions if we don't play.
Yeah, well Stern is an idiot....no doubt about that. But honestly, all these bomb threats are coming from clowns who are just a bunch of idiots trying to entice the situation further. I don't anticipate any further problems.
 

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I think that is the most rediculous article I have ever read. I cant believe that a real article, and that man gets paid. He contadicts himself and voices his opinion while skewing facts and downplaying his teams level of contribution on the 19th. He states that we dont know who made the phone call( which is true) then he turns around in the next paragraph and talks about how its the Pistons fault, and how the organization should pay for some lunatic. I believe the part of the whole blame game that This guy missed is that the authorities watched all tapes and interviewed just about everyone involved in the melee, and laid charges. This isnt Stern, this is the legal system, and they didnt find the Pistons at fault, in fact they didnt lay charges on any Piston. But if you believe this guy ? its a big Michigan conspiracy. Everyone is out to get the Pacers.
Fact of the matter is, Yes you guys took a huge hit on the 19th, But there is no way you can blame the Organization for some idiot throwing a beer at Artest, and there is no way you can blame anyone but the Pacer players for going into the stands. Ive heard people trying to blame the Brawl on Ben. People take a step back and pretend you have no affiliation to any team. A player is fouled and he takes exception, this happens all too often in the league. A player pushes back and another player walks away and provokes, now I know you guys know Artest did his best Rodman impersonation by layin on the table and doin an interview while Ben was callin him out. Anyone that thinks Ron was trying to be altar boy is foolin themselves. Ben realizes that Ron doesnt want any of him and throws his headband at him in disgust. Now on a normal night this is the end of it. Ts are handed out and game continues, Right. So how can Ben be held accountable for some idiot pitchin a beer? He cant... No more than you could be held liable for throwin your gum out the window and someone behind you sees that and throws a beer bottle at someone. Bad analogy I know but Im tired and need to sleep. :cheers:
Sorry so long winded fellas, Im just so tired of hearing the Real fans get bashed for crap we have no control over.
 

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Copper said:
A player pushes back and another player walks away and provokes, now I know you guys know Artest did his best Rodman impersonation by layin on the table and doin an interview while Ben was callin him out. Anyone that thinks Ron was trying to be altar boy is foolin themselves. Ben realizes that Ron doesnt want any of him and throws his headband at him in disgust. Now on a normal night this is the end of it.
I know that's just your Piston bias speaking. If this had happened in the 02-03 season, Ron would have punched Ben..anyone in the league, maybe Shaq. The point is that Ron's anger management classes have helped him a lot, so he was trying to back away from a fight. I thought most of us had stopped thinking about the arguement of "Ron is a coward, but Ben Wallace was disgusted at him for not fighting. Ron is still a thug."
 

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Its hard to compare sports no doubt but a couple of years ago the white sox and tigers got into a brawl at comiskey.

What would the Tigers do if someone grabbed one of the player's hats, hit him with it and then started to run away -- which is what prompted the altercation between Cubs fans and the Dodgers on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field?
"If it was another player, I'd smoke him," said Robert Fick, who urged White Sox fans to "bring it on" last month when they threw beer on him following the brawls at Comiskey Park.
"But if it's a fan, you know, there are certain things as a major-league player you shouldn't do."
Such as go into the stands?
"Yeah," Fick said. "As much as you'd want to, you pretty much have to let him go."

As a former National Leaguer, Doug Brocail has warmed up in the bullpen at Wrigley Field many times. He'll no doubt warm up there again the first week of June when the Tigers go to Chicago to play the Cubs.
"To me, it's always been a classy crowd," Brocail said. "I've never once had a problem there. I've seen it get rowdy in the stands, but not in the bullpen."
Brocail said he has had problems elsewhere, though.
"New York gets bad, of course," he said. "The cops just stand there and don't care, but what can they do? There are only four of them.
"But we've all been hit with coins. About twice a year, you're going to get hit. Other than that, and language, not much happens.
"I give the language right back, maybe I shouldn't, but I can't stand how you go to a ballgame and the fans think they can yell anything at you, and they do it right next to some family with young kids.
"I told some guys in Anaheim, 'We can take everything you've got, but watch your language around the kids.' After that, they were worse so we got 12 of them kicked out and gave the family that had to hear it a ball."
http://www.detnews.com/2000/tigers/0005/19/f05-58852.htm

Something else kinda interesting in that article is what players in baseball have thrown at them. Batteries and coins. I mean artest got bent out of shape cause he got doused with beer. Again the pistons fans that did this were dumb/stupid whatever you want to call it and I am glad the ones that went on the court got theirs from the pacer players. Bottom line though is Artest needs to think before he acts.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Copper said:
I think that is the most rediculous article I have ever read. I cant believe that a real article, and that man gets paid. He contadicts himself and voices his opinion while skewing facts and downplaying his teams level of contribution on the 19th. He states that we dont know who made the phone call( which is true) then he turns around in the next paragraph and talks about how its the Pistons fault, and how the organization should pay for some lunatic. I believe the part of the whole blame game that This guy missed is that the authorities watched all tapes and interviewed just about everyone involved in the melee, and laid charges. This isnt Stern, this is the legal system, and they didnt find the Pistons at fault, in fact they didnt lay charges on any Piston. But if you believe this guy ?
Bob Kravitz was runner up for best sports writer in the country. I'll take his credibility over yours.


its a big Michigan conspiracy. Everyone is out to get the Pacers.
You're making that up. It doesn't say that in the article.


Fact of the matter is, Yes you guys took a huge hit on the 19th, But there is no way you can blame the Organization for some idiot throwing a beer at Artest, and there is no way you can blame anyone but the Pacer players for going into the stands.
Fact of the matter is, something needs to be done to stop this kind of thing, because both times the Pacers have played in Detroit, a Detroit person has started trouble.

Ive heard people trying to blame the Brawl on Ben. People take a step back and pretend you have no affiliation to any team. A player is fouled and he takes exception, this happens all too often in the league. A player pushes back and another player walks away and provokes
Just becaues it happens a lot does not make it right to acceptable.

, now I know you guys know Artest did his best Rodman impersonation by layin on the table and doin an interview while Ben was callin him out. Anyone that thinks Ron was trying to be altar boy is foolin themselves.
At least he's not HITTING SOMEONE.

Ben realizes that Ron doesnt want any of him and throws his headband at him in disgust.
"Nobody was throwin anything until Ben Wallace thew a headband at Artest" - wise words from Jermaine O'neal

Now on a normal night this is the end of it. Ts are handed out and game continues, Right. So how can Ben be held accountable for some idiot pitchin a beer? He cant... No more than you could be held liable for throwin your gum out the window and someone behind you sees that and throws a beer bottle at someone. Bad analogy I know but Im tired and need to sleep. :cheers:
That's why we blame John Greene. :biggrin:
 

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You can't blame people calling in bomb threats to the Palce on the Pistons... The Pistons security was good enough to accutally delay the game and check the whole stadium. Just because of the brawl, it can't be said that the Pistons security was any worse then any other team in the league. I mean everyteam had the same type of security as the NBA guidelines have asked for, so the fight could have happened anywhere that a had fan throwing the beer.
 

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kamego said:
You can't blame people calling in bomb threats to the Palce on the Pistons... The Pistons security was good enough to accutally delay the game and check the whole stadium. Just because of the brawl, it can't be said that the Pistons security was any worse then any other team in the league. I mean everyteam had the same type of security as the NBA guidelines have asked for, so the fight could have happened anywhere that a had fan throwing the beer.
I don't have a problem with security at the Palace, I have a problem with the security of my players while they're at the Palace.
 

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Pacers Fan said:
I don't have a problem with security at the Palace, I have a problem with the security of my players while they're at the Palace.
The players are safe. I wouldnt calla glass of beer life threatening, and The players put themselves in harms way by entering the stands to fight. As for Pacer guys false statement that a detroit fan called in the bomb threat? Truth of the matter is YOU DONT KNOW WHO CALLED IT IN, if you do? Im sure the authorities would like you to answer some questions.
This debate ended when Stern handed out the punishments. The fact that Reggie feels that the NBA world is out to get his team means nothing. Stern wont reinstate Artest, and I dont think he should, Not because I dont like Artest( which I dont) but because Artest has had issues in the past and he entered the stands and attacked an innocent man. There is no defense for that behaviour, anyone that tries to defend his actions is blindly following their team. If Artest knew who it was and attacked the right guy? It would be a little less rediculous but still should never happen. The fact that the players association isnt even up in arms about the penalty should show you how serious his actions were. I do feel sorry for the team, but I do not feel sorry for Artest. He was the victim of a moron who deserves to be beaten daily for such a juvinile action. But Artest compounded the error by his reaction and Reggie should be angry with him and not lashing out at the Pistons organization.
 

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Yeah this thread is getting a siren.....its getting old






I am sure everyone that wanted to say something already has....no need to keep a thread open that will end up in a flame war....
 
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