Making sense of senseless acts

The penalties for the brawl in the Pacers-Pistons game were inappropriately lenient..

Updated: November 23, 2004, 10:42 AM ET
By Bill Walton | ESPN Insider
There's no other way to put it: I was stunned and flabbergasted by what I personally witnessed on the court at the end of the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers game Friday night. The shock, dismay and sadness has not diminished at all with time, as I've been sickened and repulsed while reflecting back on the mindless and senseless violence that took place that evening.

This is my 30th year with the NBA, and Friday night was, without a doubt, the low point.

Ron Artest
Getty ImagesThe foundation of the NBA took a cast of thousands decades to build. In one night, Ron Artest and others tore it all down.
I've just been over-the-top saddened and embarrassed – the whole time struggling desperately and mightily to figure out ways to move forward from this madness. This is the NBA, professional basketball. It is supposed to be about fun. It is supposed to be about going to an event to have a good time. As I consider what got us to this place, I'm reminded of the strategically placed poster that I have on my office wall. It's got a big, beautiful eagle soaring above a majestic scene. The caption reads: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

And now, more than ever, is a time for everyone to see.

ESPN.com NBA Insider and Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton will again serve as a game analyst for ESPN's NBA telecasts. He joined ESPN and ABC Sports' in their inaugural season of NBA coverage in 2002.

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