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Indiana Pacers news gathered from around the net.

Pacers Will Not Subject Players to Police Interviews

The Auburn Hills Police Department, which is investigating the fight, said Monday that Pacers officials told the department that they would "assist with the investigation as much as possible" but would not provide any Pacers players for Auburn Hills detectives to interview.

The Pacers have refused to comment on this and the Auburn Hills police department is baffled, "that's bewildering to us," said an Auburn Hills police spokesman, Lt. James Manning. "They say they will help. On the other hand, the one thing we've asked them for, they can't do."

Also Monday, the Auburn Hills police said they identified the fan who threw a chair during the fight. The fan, a season-ticket holder and a 35-year-old resident of Mundy Township, Mich., could face a felony assault charge, law enforcement authorities have said. The police did not release his name, and they said they had not interviewed him.

Charges in the brawl could come as early as next week. The police in Auburn Hills said Monday that they could conclude their investigation as early as next week. It would be up to the Oakland County prosecutor to press criminal charges.

Via New York Times

Artest Album A Flop?

Suspended Pacers forward Ron Artest cannot buy a break.

According to the Washington Post Artest has been trying to move on from his fight with fans in Detroit's Palace of Auburn Hills by promoting "Chapter III," the first offering his record label 'TruWarier', produced for girl group Allure.

According to E! Online, "Chapter III" has barely left the shelves across the country, with only three of 15 discs moving from Tower Records in Washington as of Tuesday. Meanwhile, Amazon.com yesterday ranked the album at an appalling 9,318.

"Terrible," said one reviewer on Amazon.com. "There is absolutely zero soul both in the lyrics and the music. The production is third-rate at best."

Added another: "I'm not really feeling this album. Artest even has a cameo appearance and I'm sorry, but he can't rap."

Via Washington Post

Pacers Receive Some Financial Relief

ESPN is reporting that the Indiana Pacers will receive nearly $8 million of unexpected financial relief from the long-term bans of Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal, based on a league policy that requires the Pacers to pay the NBA only 10 games' worth of salary for each player while they're suspended.

While it was originally believed that the Pacers would have to pay the entire salaries owing to Jermaine O'Neal, Stephen Jackson and Ron Artest for the games they miss to the league (a combined $10.81 million), barring any successful appeals ESPN is reporting that Indiana must only forfeit $2.9 million.

NBA spokesman Matt Bourne said the 10-game policy is a standing policy that the league employed before Indiana's penalties were announced, saving the team just under $7.7 after the suspensions of Anthony Johnson and Reggie Miller are factored in also.

As a result of the brawl Artest was suspended for the remainder of the season and Jackson and O'Neal were suspended for 30 and 25 games, respectively.

Via ESPN

Pacers to Sign Fowlkes, Johnsen

The Pacers expected to sign forwards Tremaine Fowlkes and Britton Johnsen in time for both to be in uniform for Thursday night's game against Minnesota in Conseco Fieldhouse, said Coach Rick Carlisle.

"Both of these guys we're bringing in have NBA experience," Carlisle said. "They've both been in situations where you've got to learn stuff quickly, so we'll keep things pretty simple to start with but we're going to need them to hit the ground running and be ready to play.

"They're both probably going to be playing multiple positions, so that can also make it tricky, but I expect both of them to be into the action pretty quickly."

Ironically, Fowlkes played for the Pistons last season. Johnsen, a 6-10 forward, started last season with Orlando before being waived. Johnsen later re-signed with the Magic for the remainder of the season. Both Fowlkes and Johnsen were training camp cuts in New Orleans.

Via Pacers.com

And Here Come the Lawsuits?

The first of the lawsuits have surfaced from last Friday?s rumble in Detroit.  The suits have been filed by two fans, John Ackerman and William Paulson against the Pacers and players Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O?Neal seeking unspecified damages.

Ackerman claims he was hit by O?Neal and also by a chair another fan threw into the fray.  He is suing the Palace Sports and Entertainment Inc., the operators of the Pistons arena.  

"He was knocked unconscious by the chair," said Todd Weglarz, who along with lawyer Geoffrey Fieger represents the men. "The next thing he recalls is being helped into a wheelchair."

Paulson, 26, says he was punched by Jackson and assaulted by Artest. Weglarz said Paulson's family has had Pistons season tickets for about 25 years.

Pistons spokesman Matt Dobek said the team and The Palace were aware of the lawsuits but declined comment. The Pacers did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Via USA Today

Detroit Loses and Indiana Wins, As Teams Play With Depleted Rosters

In both teams second games following the melee on Friday night, the Detroit Pistons lost to the Charlotte Bobcats and the Indiana Pacers defeated the Boston Celtics.

Charlotte played the Pistons tough on Sunday night, in the first game of a home and home, but ultimately were defeated in double overtime.  On Tuesday, the Bobcats got the better of the Pistons, winning 91-89.

The Pistons were missing Ben Wallace for a second consecutive game due to his suspension.

Emeka Okafor scored 22 points for the Bobcats.

Indiana defeated the Celtics 106-96.  Jamaal Tinsley led all  scorers with 29 points.  The Pacers must tread water for the 25 games Jermaine O'Neal will be suspended, attempting to stay above .500 in his and Stephen Jackson's absence.

Via NBA,com

Players' Union Files An Appeal For Artest, Jackson and O'Neal

The NBA players' union filed an appeal Tuesday on behalf of Indiana Pacers Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal, who were suspended for their participation in a brawl with Detroit Pistons fans last Friday night.

The appeal asks for reductions in the suspensions handed out Sunday: Artest was banned for the season, Jackson for 30 games and O'Neal for 25. Six players were suspended for one to six games; those are not being appealed.

Union director Billy Hunter has called the penalties excessive, saying a suspension of about 35 games would have been more appropriate for Artest.

Commissioner David Stern, who issued the suspensions, has sole discretion under collective bargaining rules over penalties for on-court behavior, and all appeals go through him, as well.

The union, however, asked in its one-page appeal that the case go to arbitrator Roger Kaplan.

"We're are arguing that the discipline imposed is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement, and without just cause," union spokesman Dan Wasserman said.

"I don't think it was fair -- that many games," Artest said Tuesday in an interview with NBC's "Today" show. "I respect David Stern's decisions, but I don't think I should have been out for the whole season."

"This is the third time that I've been hit with something out of the crowd," said Artest, who claimed he had been struck previously in Detroit and in Cleveland.

Via ESPN

Man Who Threw Cup At Artest is a Convicted Felon

The mystery man has been marked by his neighbor.

John Green of West Bloomfield Township was identified as the fan who threw the cup at Ron Artest, said David Gorcyca, the Oakland County prosecutor.

The Detroit Free Press reported late Monday that Green has several criminal convictions, including felony assault with intent to do great bodily harm. Green has three drunken-driving convictions, and Gorcyca also said a condition of Green's probation was that he not drink alcohol.

Asked if Artest could claim self-defense, Gorcyca said: "Even if someone did throw water, you don't have a license or a green light to punch them."

"I wish the whole thing didn't happen," Green said. "I'm sure the NBA players that got involved in it wish it never happened, the fans never wished that it had happened. I know I don't. It was awful, it was ugly."

Pistons chief executive Tom Wilson said Green is a season ticket-holder and will be banned from The Palace.

Via ESPN

Pacers:"We will vigorously support our players in an available appeal"

The suspensions of Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal infuriated the Pacers organization and prompted co-owner Herb Simon to issue a statement:

"While we do not condone some of the actions of the players involved, we do consider the action taken Sunday by the National Basketball Association to be unprecedented and inappropriate based on the circumstances. We believe that there was a rush to judgment and not enough opportunity to for all sides to be heard. We will vigorously support our players in an available appeal process to have these penalties reviewed and reduced. We owe that much to our players, our fans and our community."

Via Sportsline

Artest on Stern: "I don't think that he has been fair with me."

Below is the statement that Ron Artest issued in response to the NBA's announcement that he would be suspended for the remainder of the season.

'First, it is very important to me that people understand that I didn't mean for the situation to turn out like it did.

'It really hurt me to see the children crying on TV, and I think about how it could have been my own kids. I also regret and apologize to fans who were upset by what happened.

'I have always been a huge fan of the NBA, and I always will be. I have total respect for all the players who play the game, and I respect David Stern, but I don't think that he has been fair with me in his situation.

'I think people know that I have always tried to interact positively with fans in every arena that I've been to. I am deeply sorry for the Pacers, people in the state of Indiana and everywhere else in America and around the world where there are NBA fans who have seen me turn things around in my life the past few years.'

Via Indy Star

Indiana Pacers Archives

Harrison: Pacers' Bus Turned Off Lights With Fears of Gunfire

The Monetary Effects and the Decision Not to Play in an Empty Arena

Ron Artest Suspended for the Remainder of the Season

If the NBA's suspension against Ron Artest holds up, he will spend the remainder of the season in the studio

Pacers Battle the Magic With Just Six Players

NBA Coaches and Players Comment on Detroit Incident

Ron Artest to be Suspended for 30 Games?

Are the Pacers preseason hopes in doubt without Artest, Jackson and O'Neal available for extended periods?

Wallace: "I didn't start it."

Pacers Must Immediately Adjust To Play Without Their 3 Best Players

Stern: Artest, Jackson, O'Neal and Wallace Suspended Indefinitely

David Stern has issued his statment about Friday night's events

The Motown Brawl

After being struck by a full cup thrown from the stands in Detroit Ron Artest and others fought with fans

Artest explodes into stands, attacks fans at Palace

Bender Out Indefinitely With Chronically Injured Knee

NBA Rescinds Flagrant Foul Call Against Artest

Artest: Knick Deal Won't Happen

Artest's Request for Time Off Led to Benching

Artest Suspended for Two Games by Carlisle

Ron Artest was suspended for two games by Rick Carlisle for unspecified disciplinary reasons

Pollard Joins Growing List Of Injured Pacers

Carlisle Had West In Mind For Point

NBA GM's: Detroit Will Represent the East in the Finals Again

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