First, can we get this out of the way?
Yes, Ron Artest (I think "Ron" has been playing for a few weeks now) deserves a suspension. Absolutely. That was an abhorrent act that has no place on the basketball court. Ever. I in no way, shape or form condone what he did.
But calls for "20 games", "a whole season"… and even "a lifetime ban" are so idiotic that they are ludicrous.
Are you people trying to assert that it was any where near the ballpark of Jermaine O'Neal's role in the Malice in the Palace? Or worse than those that ran up into the stands (yes, it's not lost on me that Ron Artest was one of those)? Or how about bringing GUNS to an arena, and threatening a teammate with their use???
Some perspective please.
Some have stated that it's similar in severity to Andrew Bynum's smackdown of JJ Barea last season, and should be assessed as such. Well… that's kinda wrong on three levels: 1) as severe and stupid and out of line as that play was, it was during play. This wasn't. 2) Bynum was hit with 5 games due to similar incidents during that season. 3) Bynum lined Barea up, and completely understood what he was doing. I do not believe that Ron Artest fully comprehended what he was doing.
Still… I'd guess 3-5 games is what should be the penalty. I lean towards 5.
The only issue will be if David Stern bows to the pressures of media/social media, and gets hysterical about it. If it's in double digits, that is exactly what has happened.
On Ron… quite a few have written, "What was he thinking?"
That's just it. He wasn't.
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