Friday , Oct , 07 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Indiana’s Johnson given probation for role in brawl

Rochester Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Indiana Pacers guard Anthony Johnson
was given one year of probation for his role in last November’s brawl at the
Palace of Auburn Hills.

Johnson, who pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of assault, became
the fifth Pacer to receive probation in the wake of the incident, joining Ron
Artest, Jermaine O’Neal, Stephen Jackson and David Harrison.

In addition, Johnson was fined $500, will have to perform 100 hours of
community service and undergo an assaultive behavior program. He is also
subject to random drug and alcohol testing.

The infamous brawl involving spectators and players broke out near the end of
the November 19 game between the Pacers and Detroit Pistons after an on-court
dispute over a foul.

The contest was stopped with 45 seconds left in the fourth quarter and Indiana
was credited with a 97-82 victory. With the Pacers ahead by 15 points,
things unraveled when Ben Wallace was fouled by Artest and the Pistons’
center took exception to what he deemed a hard foul and gave Artest a two-
handed push to the face.

The pushing and shoving continued by the scorers’ table as players came off
both benches. The Detroit fans then lost control and began throwing cups
filled with liquid and ice at Artest, who was surprisingly staying out of
harm’s way on top of the scorers’ table. Artest was hit in the head by a
flying cup and immediately raced into the stands and started punching whom he
thought was the culprit.

Jackson followed into the crowd, along with other players, and started
swinging away at the unruly fans.

Two days after the disgraceful incident, NBA commissioner David Stern issued
harsh penalties, including the suspension of Artest for the remainder of the
season. In addition, the NBA issued a revised set of arena guidelines to all
teams, consisting of policies dealing with security, alcohol sales and fan