Roger L. Simon

The Artest Test - Part II

Ron Artest said his one-year basketball suspension was “too harsh,” as he plugged his rap album on the “Today Show” this morning. Maybe he’s got a point. Hey, if Dan Rather can get away with promulgating forgeries on “Sixty Minutes” to influence a US presidential election and still be an anchorman, why should Ron be punished for taking a swing or two at a couple of fans. They’re still living, right?

UPDATE: A WSJ article this morning (subscription only) details how the NBA has moved quickly to contain the damage with its sponsors:

The good news for the National Basketball Association: Its strong ties with sponsors and advertisers, and solid reputation as a partner, helped minimize the fallout. Plus, in handing down some of the longest suspensions in league history — nine players, 143 games and more than $11 million in lost salary — NBA Commissioner David Stern demonstrated he wouldn’t let the crisis escalate. “We’re on notice,” Mr. Stern told reporters Sunday night. “We’ve got really here the beginning of our work, not the end of it.”

Will seat prices go down? [Dream on.-ed.]

UPDATE: Artest throws his support to the dead. [But does he know the diagnosis?-ed.]