Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Union representation

It didn't take the NBA long to react to the dramatic brawl that occurred on Friday night at the Palace at Auburn Hills. After watching the films from all angles, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced the league's rulings on Sunday evening.

The major suspensions were as follows:

Ron Artest: remainder of the season (73 games)
Stephen Jackson (Pacers): 30 games
Jermaine O'Neill (Pacers): 25 games
Ben Wallace (Pistons): 5 games

But, the story isn't gonna end there. On Tuesday, the NBA Players Association (aka the union) filed an appeal on behalf of the three worst offending Pacers. I understand that it is the duty of the Players Association to represent the interests of the players. But, that begs the question -- Which players?

I would submit that it may not be in the interest of the players overall for the union to align itself with these violent rule-breakers. The league has been suffering for several years from the growing thug image of many of its players. Popularity has been waning. If I were a member of the players union, I would seriously question the wisdom of backing those players who attacked fans. After all, the existence of the NBA depends on fan support.