Madness In Motown

By Jo Ann Lawery
Updated: November 20, 2004

LOS ANGELES, Ca. — You must have seen the images by now, benches clearing, bottles and chairs flying.

Players throwing punches.

But this wasn’t a hockey game.

It was an NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and the defending NBA champions, Detroit Pistons.

If you missed it or dont have a friend that has TIVO, here’s in a nutshell some of what happened.

With 45 seconds left in the game, no less and the Pacers winning, Ron Artest, resident Pacer and rap artist wannabee, fouled Ben Wallace.

It wasn’t a really hard foul, but Wallace, whose headband must have been too tight around that big Afro of his, got all bent out of shape.

Wallace, who must have thought he was a wrestler, not a basketball player, went down as though he had gotten shot.

He got up, went over to Artest, and grabbed him around the neck.

Artest, to his credit, didn’t do or say anything.

He just went to the scorer’s table, while the other players were doing what they do best, talking smack.

That’s when the you know what hit the fan.

Artest, who was now joined by injured Pacer star, Reggie Miller, were sitting on the scorers table, when Artest was hit by either a cup of water or beer.

Artest went into the stands, joined by a couple of teamates.

Not to condone what the Pacers did, but some of the fans got exactly what they deserved-their asses kicked.

Add Detroit to the list of midwest cities where there must be something in the water to make people act like they’ve lost their gosh darn minds.

You have the right to cheer for your team but the money you paid doen’t give you the right to get on the court and not have something happen to you.

Some Detroit fans tried to justify what the fans did by saying, “the Pacers came into our house, we have to defend it.”

Wrong. The Palace of Auburn Hills isn’t the fans’ house.

It’s the house of the Detroit Pistons and the NBA teams that they play.

We fans are guests and this doesn’t give us the right to act the fool.

Nor does the fact that we pay money to see these players.

No matter what sport it is, you have the right to yell and boo, but under no circumstances do you have the right to throw chairs, racial slurs or water, coffee or beer at an opposing player, not matter what an asshole they are.

What should the NBA do?

Suspend and fine players, definately.

But what about the fans who began the motor city madness?

Shouldn’t they be held accountable for their actions, too?