NBA: It's Faaan-tastic!

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I watched the videotape of last week's NBA melee repeatedly, analyzing it  more closely than the Warren Commission's frame-by-frame examination of the Zapruder tape of the JFK assassination. And I have finally come to understand why white guys love hockey so much. A brawl is so far more compelling than a game. But remember the NHL all but went under despite daily highlights featuring fisticuffs both on and off the ice.
        As an attorney, I can safely say that Ron Artest just put his lawyer into a higher tax bracket. Somebody oughta give the troubled  Indianapolis Pacers star a saliva test. He might be rabid. How else do you explain his instigating, in rapid succession, all three incidents which turned an otherwise unremarkable NBA basketball game into an all-out brawl between his team and dozens of Detroit Pistons fans?
        It all started with less than a minute left in a blow-out which Indianapolis was winning, when Artest, instead of trying to rebound a ball, smashed Ben Wallace from behind in the head, knowing full well that Ben's brother, Sam, had died a few weeks ago after a long battle with brain cancer. Ben lost his mom last year and his grandmother  not long before that.
        Wallace, perhaps the Pistons' most admired player and ordinarily a model citizen, reacted by grabbing Artest by the throat for a moment and warning him not to try that bull substance again. Cowardly Ron ran away, hiding behind the refs and curling up in the fetal position with his eyes closed on the scorer's table.
        Then, when a fan threw a beer on him, Artest ignited skirmish number two by running into the stands and flailing at anybody sitting in the general area where the drink came from, including ex-Piston-turned-team broadcaster Rick Mahorn. A few Pacers players joined the free-for-all in the seats, including Jermaine O'Neal, Stephen Jackson, and Fred Jones, who got his ass kicked, by the way.
        As the headhunting Artest made his way back to the court still looking for trouble, he found two trash-talking chubbsy-wubbsies waddling by in Piston's jerseys. Though physically unprovoked, Ron started round three by knocking both of the pear-shaped punks to the ground. And, for good measure, O'Neal sucker-punched one of them again square in the face just as he was struggling to get back on his feet.
        An important question which simply must be asked is, do either of those fatsos have lawyers? If not, will someone please have them contact my office immediately. The same goes for any kids traumatized by observing the mayhem and for any innocent fans who might have been mistakenly beaten by a multi-millionaire in the arena on the night in question. And a legal memo to that elderly lady who was left woozy on the floor: You're rich!
        As for Ron Artest, I'd even be willing to represent you, if you're interested in retaining my services. There’s always the insanity defense. While that might not help with the lengthy suspension or all the civil lawsuits you're certain to be slapped with, I do have some good news. I just saved a lot of money on car insurance.

Attorney Lloyd Williams is a member of the NJ, NY, CT, PA, MA & US Supreme Court bars. Send comments to [email protected]

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