- The Washington Times - Monday, December 6, 2004

John Green, the man accused of throwing a cup at Pacers forward Ron Artest on Nov.19, says he is being picked on.He says his banishment from all future events at the Palace at Auburn Hills is unfair.

Green says all of this, of course, through his lawyer.

He uses just two forms of communication: his lawyer and projectile cups.

His mantra is simple: Walk softly and carry a big cup.

Artest has lost his job for a year — and rightfully so.

Green has lost only a portion of his entertainment opportunities forever — and rightfully so.

Now the poor 39-year-old West Bloomfield, Mich., man will have to go back to his everyday life of anti-social behavior outside the Palace.

Like the time in 1988 when Green left a halfway house without permission, visited a former girlfriend, broke her wrist with a telephone and kicked her in the stomach.

His resume also includes larceny, stalking and bribing an officer.

In other words, Green has a history of being picked on.

But he has impeccable aim with a plastic cup. You can’t take that away from him.

Green is not alone. Detroit-area authorities are also picking on Bryant D. Jackson, the man they believe threw a chair near the end of the Nov.19 brawl.

Jackson, a Pistons season ticket holder who acted as if he were at a “Geraldo” taping, may be charged with felony assault.

Jackson and Green are today’s sports fans.

For them, it’s not enough to simply watch the action.

They must be part of it.

They scream and yell and holler and make little or no sense.

They are profane and inane, lewd and crude. They insult players’ families and make assumptions about their sexual preferences.

They are filled with vitriol, and it will all come spewing out — with the aid of enough alcohol.

NBA commissioner David Stern promised relief from the louts last week in the form of new security guidelines for the league’s arenas in January.

He even hinted at a ban on certain types of language.

“We know that you can’t hurl objects at a game, and it may be that you can’t hurl certain expletives, either,” he said.

With Green and Jackson still at large, Stern may want to install metal detectors, administer sobriety tests or run background checks.

Or maybe a simple IQ test would be in order.

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