Saturday , Jul , 14 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Commissioner Stern & NBA Gets Ron Artest & Stephen Jackson Suspensions Right

Today, the NBA suspended Artest & Jackson seven games for off-court incidents … For once, the league dispensed fair and reasonable justice … However, Artest and Jackson’s suspensions will definitely hurt the Kings and Warriors … Click here for news and analysis …

The Associated Press reports that Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson have each been suspended seven games for off-court incidents:

Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson, who both brawled with fans at a 2004 Detroit Pistons game, were each suspended by the NBA on Saturday for the first seven games of next season because of their most recent legal problems.

Jackson of the Golden State Warriors pleaded guilty last month to a felony count of criminal recklessness for firing a gun outside an Indiana strip club last fall, when he was with the Pacers. He was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and perform 100 hours of community service.

Artest of the Sacramento Kings pleaded no contest in May to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge stemming from a March 5 dispute with his wife, the latest in a string of off-court problems.

Placer County Superior Court Judge Francis Kearney sentenced Artest to 100 hours of community service and a 10-day work project through the county sheriff’s department. Artest also was fined $600 and ordered to get extensive counseling.

Artest and Jackson were Pacers’ teammates in November 2004, when they were involved in a brawl with fans during a game against the Pistons. Artest was suspended for 73 games and the playoffs — the NBA’s harshest punishment for a fight — and Jackson was suspended for 30 games.

My Quick Take: I have often wondered how the NBA dispenses justice. Their recent methods for doling out suspensions and fines have resembled, well, madness.  Wear your shorts too low, get fined.  Wear a tracksuit on a team flight, get fined. Rush to check on your teammate after he gets body-checked in the Western Conference semi-finals, get suspended.

It was like the Seinfeld soup-Nazi had been hired to impose martial law on The Association. Key words here: You banned!

But give Commissioner Stern, or the soup-Nazi, credit. They got the Artest and Jackson suspensions right. Seven games is fair and reasonable.

Both players have consistently shown a lack of judgment. They are repeat offenders. Their crimes were dangerous and a message needed to be sent. Fair enough.

However, I don’t think Artest and Jackson are bad people-they’re just misdirected. Jackson, after all, publicly agreed with his suspension. Artest will do the same.

The big losers here: the Kings and Warriors. Artest and Jackson are important players for their teams. And Sacramento and Golden State play in the ultra-competitive Western Conference, where missing a key player, like Artest or Jackson, can be the difference between making and missing the playoffs.

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