As most of the basketball watching world probabaly knows by now, Ron Artest of the Indiana Pacers was suspended for Tuesday's Opening Series - Game 2 tilt against the Boston Celtics.
An altercation between Indy's Jermaine O'Neal and Boston's Brandon Hunter got Artest to leave the bench in Saturday's Game 1.
Before I go any further, allow me to say something I've not said in a long, long time: BRAVO NBA! You didn't look the other way and actually enforced your own rules appropriately. Color me shocked, but elated by the ruling.
Now, here's where my beef comes:
(All quotes taken from this article: Link )
"(Artest) stuck his left arm out to stop another guy from going out on the floor, then he saw that Jermaine was in the process of being intentionally provoked into an ejection. His instinct, I think, was to go pull (O'Neal) out so he didn't get ejected and then three steps out, he realized he wasn't supposed to be out there and he got back."
Excuse me while I finish laughing..........Ok, I'm better now.
As the Pacers coach, We know that you have to try to spin this, but come on Rick, had you even reviewed the tapes before taking that interview?
The only one "provoking" anything was O'Neal once he got up from being thrown on his butt. Hunter simply laughed O'Neal off, while walking away. Flagrant Foul for throwing him to the floor? Sure, I'll buy that. But let's not powder coat what really happened here. Jermaine O'Neal purposefully and obviously for the purposes of trying to draw a foul, locked Hunter's arm up and then began flailing like the accomplished NBA thespian, Vlade Divac. Hunter got loose by eventually tossing JO on his butt. I guess that wasn't factored into JO's plan?
Good for Hunter. Maybe someone on your team now understands what the Paul-Pierce-pantsing Artest does on a regular basis.
Take a look at the tapes Rick. One of us has.
Speaking of looking at the tapes, let's go to the second part of the quotation: Artest only took 3 steps out onto the Court, huh?
All I can respond to that is to say that you're finally coming of age in the NBA and getting to be a regular fixture Rick: You can't see or correctly call extra steps either.
Either way, this particular piece of Game 1 was the only good thing that this Celtic Fan took away from that "We're going to give up and You're going to take advantage of that to it's fullest" debacle.
Someone got physical in the post for the C's? In my estimation, It's About Damn Time!
In fact, one of the few (and far between) quasi-intelligent things that Len Elmore said during game commentary was that "he couldn't understand, with Mihm's size and strength, why he wasn't dunking more. Mihm should be throwing down facials on people". Instead, we watched Chris Mihm blow a bunny layup moments earlier and unfortunately not for the first time.
Time to forget about Game 1.
Forget the Pessimism, Forget the Apathy. Win or lose, we don't go down without a fight.
Break out the tartans and put on the battle paint, Celtic Nation. It's now time to go to war.