There aren’t many things in this world that shock me, but I was floored by what occurred at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday April 22nd. Ron Artest (I refuse to call him that nonsense that he created!) lost his freaking mind and assaulted Oklahoma City’s James Harden.
Not only was the act a criminal one, but Artest’s actions were cowardly. An unaware James Harden was blind-sided by an elbow to the head which was clearly thrown with the intent to decapitate. I can’t even watch the video anymore because it is unbelievable that Harden didn’t suffer brain damage. I honestly don’t know how he walked away with only a mild concussion. (That guy is one lucky fella!)
NBA commissioner David Stern finally handed out the punishment for Artest’s unwarranted attack. The lunatic was suspended for seven games, and it appears that the Los Angeles county prosecutor will not pursue criminal charges. (What a shame!)
Many people may believe that the punishment fit the crime, but I strongly disagree. Artest should have been suspended for the 2012 playoffs along with the entire 2013 season. (If Stern decided to ban him for life, I would have agreed with the decision!)
Basketball is a sport. There is no place for thugs. There are impressionable children who love the sport and allowing Artest to get away with (attempted) murder is sending the wrong message. If this incident occurred in any other workplace, the offender would have been terminated on the spot, and criminal charges would have been pursued.
Obviously, Ron Artest does not understand that playing in the NBA is a privilege. The best players in the world compete at the highest level and fans watch to see athletes not gladiators. The NFL got it right; New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton oversaw an organization which placed bounties on opposing players. Payton was suspended for a year. (Hey Stern, I think it’s time to give NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a call!)
Ron Artest thanked his therapist after he won the NBA Championship. It appears that he may need a few more hours of therapy because he clearly has many more demons lurking inside of his cranium. If anyone knows Ron, please inform him that I am available to help him with his problems. I’ll even work at the discounted rate of $650/hour. (I must also request that Mr. Artest is restrained in the same manner as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the movie The Silence of the Lambs!)
No Ron, I haven’t seen your baseball!