Reporting Shaun Bijani
NBA commissioner David Stern has suspended Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) 7 games for violently elbowing Oklahoma City’s James Harden during the 2nd quarter of Sundays game in Los Angeles.
The punishment does not fit the crime according to a lot of people. It’s hard to argue that it does. It’s hard to understand Ron Artest. Fans, teammates, opponents and coaches have been trying to do so for the last 13 years of his career. Trying to understand what was going through Artests mind Sunday when he dropped James Harden with an elbow behind the ear has been just as puzzling for many.
There are people who understand and know Artest well, but even those closest to him, I don’t think will ever be able to say they really get him. Maybe not even his therapist whom I think he pays to travel with him. I don’t think Ron Artest has officially been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but it is known that he sees a therapist regularly.
For the purposes of being a responsible man, employer, and commissioner, David Stern missed the boat on sending a real message to Ron Artest and the rest of his beloved league or at least trying to help him.
David Stern, in his official press release that became available around 7pm CT on Tuesday evening, said absolutely nothing about trying to help Artest with some mental issues he may (most certainly does) have. That tells me that it’s just not that important to Stern. It doesn’t mean he’s not buying Artests apology and/or reasoning for the elbow on Harden, and he shouldn’t, but if this guy really did care about his players, he would have demanded that Artest seek further help to battle his mental issues and/or anger management problems.
Artest has been suspended 14 different times throughout his 13-year career. This was not the first time that Artest acted out in a violent manner. We all recall him putting some guy’s face in the ground in Detroit in 2004 (Malice at the Palace). There have been other times as well, just google it LOL.
On Sunday when I first saw the video of him sending Harden to the ground, giving him a concussion, I said this guy is done. He’ll never play in the league again, at least he shouldn’t. I since changed my opinion on it and said, just get the guy help and ban him for the rest of this regular/playoff season and suspend him for the first 10 games of next season.
There is no book for this stuff in the NBA. At least I don’t think there is. I highly doubt under article 234A, line 6, section 2 in the NBA handbook it says, “‘if a player elbows another player, he will be suspended 7 games.” How do you determine what to do with a guy who takes action like this? Someone that’s attacked a fan before?
Doesn’t this guy’s track record come into play somewhere? How many 2nd chances at life do most people get? How many 2nd chances at a career do most people get? Does David Stern think he’s doing Artest a favor? Does he think he’s maybe saving this guys life by allowing him to continue to play in this league instead of kicking him out of the league and letting Artest run wild on the outside?
I don’t know, maybe I’m over thinking this. Maybe I’m just wrong about everything. I usually am anyway. I have to say though, to see Artest enabled like this without the NBA, that cares sooooo much about its players offer nothing up to help this guy makes me really rethink things. Yet, I still come to the same conclusion I always do. Life just isn’t fair sometimes… or ever.