By now you’ve seen the video. In the late stages of Oklahoma State’s upset loss to Texas Tech, Marcus Smart shoved Texas Tech “supefan” Jeff Orr.
Smart’s altercation with a fan in the stands immediately, and unfairly, was compared to the Pacers-Pistons brawl from 2004. Known as the Malice in the Palace, Ron Artest along with several other Pacers fought Piston in the stands after a person in attendance threw a beer at Artest.
Artest has since changed his name to Metta World Peace and is currently a member of the Knicks. On Sunday morning, he had a Q & A with Oklahoma City Thunder beat writer Anthony Slater of NewsOK.com to discuss the Marcus Smart incident from the previous night.
(More: Marcus Smart shoves a Texas Tech fan)
When Slater asked if fans have the right to scream at players:
“If a fan screams something at me, I don’t know what that person has been through, you know,” World Peace said. “He could have or she could have grown up rough or maybe in a single family household. I don’t know what would make somebody scream negative things at somebody, maybe they’re just having fun. In a pro game, I’ve learned to accept it because they pay to watch us play and hey, I appreciate it. Then I go home and I finish watching Breaking Bad. It’s that simple for me. I’m actually on House of Cards now. I just finished Breaking Bad. I wish there was a Season 6 actually, because Breaking Bad was amazing. Have you seen it?
(More: Marcus Smart should be punished, but were his actions warranted?)
When asked what advice he’d give Smart if he could:
“He’s a young kid,” World Peace said. “I wish I would have listened when I was a kid, to my elders or to people who had my best interest at heart. And then I wish I would have been more conscious at my age. Those are two things that if you were to reach out to a kid like Marcus, a talented kid, a future leader in the community, you would tell him those things.”
Artest was handed a 73-game suspension (in addition to 13 postseason games) for his part in the 2004 brawl. Smart will likely face some sort of suspension as wel, whether it’s from the university or the Big 12 Conference. This story is still unfolding since we don’t even know what Orr said to provoke Smart.
It’s an unfortunate situation for a 19-year-old to be in, but hopefully he can learn from it. Same can be said for fans who need to learn that a ticket does not give them the right to act in such a manner like Saturday in Lubbock or earlier in the day at Arizona State.