March 22, 2007

Restrain Yourself

In what has to rank as one of the most nonsensical sports-related judicial decisions to come down from on high in a long time, Ron Artest has been ordered to stay a minimum of 100 yards away from his wife and children for the foreseeable future.

And for the record, our disapproval of this legal missive has nothing to do with whether or not Artest should or shouldn’t be allowed to have contact with his wife and kids.

What we object to is the distance that the judge chose.

100 yards? Is His/Her Honor not aware that Artest plays basketball and not football? You know the old saying, “The punishment should fit the crime?” Well, when it comes to restraining orders on professional athletes, the punishment should also fit the sport.

Which is to say, Artest should be required to stay a minimum of 94 feet away from his wife and kids, representing the length of the NBA court.

And if 94 feet isn’t enough for all of you who would point out that 100 yards is almost three times that much, we’ll make it 4700 square feet (94 times 50, the dimensions of the NBA court). Are you happy now? If we’ve got a 4700-foot square (or rectangle) of restrainment hovering around Ron Artest with him standing at the center of the thing, it’s like he’s permanently trapped at the tip-off circle of a giant basketball court with its outer edges providing a protective wall for his family.

Now doesn’t that seem like a more appropriate punishment than the length of one football field?

Additionally, we’d like to propose that Artest get six personal fouls, meaning that if he violates the restraining order six times, he will be disqualified. And by “disqualified,” we mean “sent to Cuba.”

Furthermore, if he complains about the absurdity of these measures while employing any sort of anger, hostility or foul language whatsoever, he will be assessed a technical foul. Two technical fouls will result in an immediate ejection. And by “ejection,” we mean “trade to the Hawks.”

Apologies if these measures seem unduly harsh, but at least they’re basketball relevant.

And as for the judge who originally ordered the ridiculous 100-yard restraining order, we hereby find you in contempt of court.

(There was also an illegal block in the back on the play, but that penalty is declined.)


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