Here are my thoughts on the fight in Detroit last night from the discussion at SportsForums.net:
I watched the instant replay several times (who hasn’t? :)) and I believe that Ron Artest was out of line, as it seems he usually is (even to a non NBA follower like myself).
The fan who threw the original beer was wrong. That is unnacceptable behavior at the office, at a restaurant, in the home and at a basketball game. He’s completely wrong. Did you see his face when Artest started running at him? “I am going to die.” :)
However, I agree with Joe Dumars (the small quote that I heard). I was surprised when watching ESPN and all 4 guys disgraeed with him. They are professionals, this is their business and their job. They, and by they I mean Artest, have to have the professionalism to see it for what it is and walk away. You simply do not go into the stands in that situation ever.
Also, I would hope that he has an understanding of his strength. Basketball players are much taller and stronger than the average person. What happens if he kills that guy or gives him brain damage when he slams his head into the concrete (not saying he did, but how far away was it?). I don’t care if the guy throws 50 beers at you, Artest could not claim self defense and he should go to jail. That is all hypothetical, but how far away was it? Could have happened. Even as an accident.
Now, where are we if Artest walks away? The fan probably gets thrown out of the arena and the game continues. Maybe not, but it is probable.