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Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by mikhail1973, Jul 15, 2007.
ESPN - NBA suspends Jackson, Artest 7 games - NBA
The NBA has it so backwards. These guys are being punished for stuff of the court, and particularly in the case of Jackson, all a 7 game suspension serves to accomplish is reduce the fan experience for Warriors fans through the first two weeks of the season.
The league is probably trying to send a message to the media that they're not going to fall behind the NFL's sudden vigor for cracking down on off-field misconduct with serious suspensions. The double standard of the NBA being a "thug league" while the NFL got off scott-free prevailed for so long in the media that the off-field arrests snowballed to absurd heights--all those Bengals getting arrested, the Vikings' sex cruise, Pacman Jones constantly getting into trouble, etc.--before anyone actually noticed that the NFL had gone far beyond the NBA for off-field player misconduct. Once the backlash kicked in, the new NFL commish sprang into action and got almost entirely positive media coverage for it, so now the NBA must be worried about slipping back a bit to the point where they're the only league that gets tagged with the "thug" label. So they might be issuing these suspensions with one eye carefully monitoring the public perception of how they're handling off-the-court misconduct in general.
Right. Serving appearances, and not justice. Kinda liked how they handled the Horry/Nash incident in the playoffs. The instigator has another championship ring, but they stuck to the holy high ground of interpreting a rule absolutely. Like anyone truly thought that Pontius Pilate was guiltless once he "washed his hands" of the crucifixion.
How many of us would get suspended from work for an infraction like that? I think it says it all.
Of course I believe that domestic violence or spousal abuse is a no-no and if made public should be delt with by local court officials. Since they did with Artest, why does Stern think he needs to get involved and throw out additional punishment. Its like the NFL did it, so we should do it too? Regular folk like us would keep it quiet enough where we could continue to work or would voluntarily request time off to deal with our issues. Sports figures, particulary in the NBA and NFL make one mistake and they are marked and tagged for life and subjected to suspensions and ridicule. Actors and singers pretty much get away with anything, especially the young starlets and the only thing comparble to a suspension is 30 days in rehab.....
I'm not sure I would compare the two. Stern got utterly destroyed in the press for the Amare suspension. "Appearances" was pretty clearly not what they were aiming for in that situation.
ESPN - NBAPA may appeal Artest, Jackson suspensions - NBA I guess the player association agrees with this forum's sentiments. They must be reading postings here.
I didn't say they met their goals, but as one writer put it, "making a judgment call takes courage" and they didn't use any judgment save for an absolute ruling. The bottom line remains that justice doesn't get served. Perhaps David Stern fashions himself as the Supreme Court of NBA players, but what goes on personally, off the court should not be punished in the workplace. It gives him way too much leniency and power to mete out fines, suspensions etc on what are criminal or civil matters, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't have that power under the constitution or any state laws. One day there will be an anti-trust lawsuit and the NBA will lose.
The law that matters is the contract between the employer and the employee, and in this case, the one governing the rules of what the commissioner can or can't do vis-a-vis the players is the collective bargaining agreement. I don't know the exact wording of the agreement on this issue, but all the major sports grant some sort of off-field disciplinary powers to the commissioner in one way or another. The controversial one in baseball is the "best interests of baseball" clause, which arguably grants the commish the power to do anything he wants to any player, as long as he can argue that his actions are in the "best interests" of the game. But with the NFL now, the players' union has consented to the commish cracking down on off-field troublemakers, to a much greater degree than anything that's happened in the NBA. So I can't imagine any lawsuit where the players successfully reduce (or strip) the NBA commish of his power to suspend them for off-court stuff.
The latest CBA only provides for arbitration if the suspension exceeds 12 games. That's a lot of leeway for the NBA to enforce suspensions for anything ranging from Darko's driving with tinted windows, to Stephen Jackson brandishing a handgun in a public place. That gray area will come back to bite the league on the butt. There is no schedule of illegal actions and their requisite NBA penalty. Stern administers justice against those he feels deserve it, and not against others. I'm anxious to see the NBA hand out a suspension when an NBA player files multiple appeals on his criminal case. Nothing like suspending a guy from games 2 or 3 years after the original ruling. To do so earlier (in both these cases I believe, the defendants filed "no contest") would put the NBA in a potentially dangerous position.
NBA puts itself in a tough position by jumping from one thing to another. They are losing credibility with real fans, but they seem to care only about the "corporate" fans that bring in $$$. That is why we're getting upset and NBA just stuffs its pockets with money.
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