Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ronald William Artest, Jr. (born November 13, 1979 in the Queensbridge Housing Projects in Long Island City, New York) is an American basketball player playing professionally as a small forward for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball at St. John's University, and was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 16th pick of the 1999 NBA draft. In 2002 Artest was traded by the Bulls to the Pacers, along with Ron Mercer, Brad Miller, and Kevin Ollie, in exchange for Jalen Rose, Travis Best , Norman Richardson , and a second-round draft pick. He is noted as being arguably the best defensive player in basketball today, and was voted the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year for the 2003–2004 season.
In spite of his abilities, he has been the subject of much controversy, including being suspended for two games in the early 2004–2005 season by Pacers coach Rick Carlisle after he allegedly asked for a month off because he was tired from promoting an R&B album for the group Allure on his production label. Artest had also been suspended for three games in 2003 for destroying a television camera in Madison Square Garden, and for four games for a confrontation with Miami Heat coach Pat Riley in 2003.
On November 19, 2004, Artest was the focal point of a rather intense fan-player brawl in Auburn Hills, Michigan against the home team Detroit Pistons. It began when Pistons' Ben Wallace gave Artest a hard foul at the Pacer's end of the floor and no call was made by the referees; upset with Wallace's actions, Artest gave a hard foul to Pistons center Ben Wallace as Wallace was putting up a shot. At this point, Wallace put his hands around Artest's neck, leading to an altercation near the scorer's table. Artest avoided most of the fight and lay down on the scorer's table. Wallace would not leave the floor after being called for a second technical foul and ejected from the game; defiantly, he threw a towel at Artest who was still laying on the scorer's table. Reacting to Wallace throwing something at Artest, John Green of West Bloomfield allegedly threw a cup at Artest, hitting him. Artest jumped into the front-row seats and confronted a man he believed to be responsible(who turned out to be the wrong man), which in turn erupted into a brawl between Pistons fans and several of the Pacers. This fight resulted in the game being stopped with less than a minute remaining. Artest and two teammates were suspended indefinitely the day after the game, along with Wallace.
On November 21, the NBA announced that Artest would be suspended for the remainder of the season; with 73 games remaining in the regular season plus the playoffs, this is the longest non-drug or betting related suspension in NBA history. Eight other players, four Pacers and four Pistons, received suspensions ranging from 1 to 30 games. All of the above suspensions are without pay. Further consequences, both in the NBA and with the law, are expected for both players and fans. Assuming the suspension is not reduced on appeal, Artest will lose approximately $5 million in salary.
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