First off, I'd like to apologize for my absence of late. No good reason that I can come up with either, other than the fact that I can tend to be somewhat irresponsible. My bad. Gonna try to get into a groove of posting SOMETHING everyday, even if it's just a sentence. (I may have said that before, but hopefully I really mean it this time.)
Seeing that it's already 12:45 a.m. Eastern, I want to keep it short tonight, but I couldn't wait any longer to talk a little about what happened in Chicago tonight. For those of you who weren't watching Knicks/Bulls, it was actually an exciting game, with a Ben Gordon walk-off jumper ending things in OT. There was a brief scuffle between Chris Duhon and Maurice Taylor which ended with them both getting double-tech ejected. And Antonio Davis casually hopped over the scorer's table and went up into the stands.
Yep, Antonio Davis, the one-time Pacer, coached by Larry Brown, who was on the other side of things at the Malice In The Palace. Antonio Davis, who is 37 years old and the recipient of community service awards and countless accolades from his peers. Antonio Davis, who has been an All-Star and a mentor to many young players. Antonio Davis, who is the president of the Player's Association.
Now, this wasn't anything close to the Artest debacle. Apparently something happened involving Davis's wife, and he went up there to see what was going on. A natural reaction, to be sure. There were no punches thrown, and Davis was escorted back to the court (then back to the locker room) by arena security. Nothing happened. But didn't David Stern make it ABUNDANTLY clear after the Artest incident that players were absolutely forbidden from going into the stands for any reason?
Here's what he said following Artest's season-ending suspension last year: "We have to make the point that there are boundaries in our games. One of our boundaries, that have always been immutable, is the boundary that separate the fans from the court. Players cannot lose control and move into the stands."
Of course Davis's natural reaction is to protect his wife and chidren from harm. But this is an NBA arena in 2006. Has there EVER been a case in recent history of a player's family being harmed physically during a game? If there has been, I don't know about it. Sure, security didn't appear to be there when Davis arrived, but it was certainly on the way. There was no reason for him to go into the stands—in the opponent's building, no less—to do someone else's job.
If Stern was sincere in his words—and one has no reason to doubt he wasn't—Davis has to be suspended for his actions, however noble he felt they were. It certainly won't be for the rest of the season, but 10 games wouldn't surprise me. Whatever the case, someone definitely needs to get a quote from Artest.