If I had a Million Dollars...
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jan 20, 2006 9:50PM
Chicagoist wonders if that Barenaked Ladies song is running through the head of Michael Axelrod, one of the fans involved in the incident at the UC the other night that caused the Knicks Antonio Davis to jump into the stands to protect his wife.
Yesterday, Axelrod's lawyer Jay Paul Deratany said they planned to sue Davis and his wife for more than $1 million, alleging that Kendra Davis battered him and Antonio Davis slander him in his post-game written statement. Realizing that whining to the media made him look like even a bigger pussy than the fact he was attacked by a girl, Axelrod changed his tune today and said he'll drop his suit if the Davises appologize and donate money to a charity that tries to prevent violence against women and children.
Chicagoist wonders if this change was suggested strongly by his dad. See, Axelrod's father is David Axelrod--a heavyweight polical consultant who's assisted the likes of Da Mere, Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama. High profile people certainly don't want their punk ass kids ruining their reputations Especially when, in this case, he's threatening a 7-figure lawsuit when he sustained no real harm. His father is a Democratic consultant and the GOP just love fighting the whole trial lawyer cabal, so it'd look really bad if his son became a poster child for that type of thing.
It's hard to say who's really at fault in this mess. A former Miss Illinois Teen USA, Kendra Davis has a reputation for being a bit feisty. How many women would talk smack to Latrell Sprewell, he who attacked his coach in practice once? She also berated a Toronto columnist for writing about how she wanted Antonio traded out of the city. So she's about the most high-strunk NBA wife this side of Doug Christie's wife. Witnesses at the game make it sounds like she was at least as much a cause of what transpired as Axelrod or any other fans in the area.
Which isn't to say that Axelrod is not guilty of anything. While the Trib's Sam Smith comes to his defense simply becuase he's friends with dad David and Michael's a good kid (isn't that what people who knew the Florida homeless attackers said, too?), accounts of the incident do say that Axelrod was shouting at the refs and possibly swearing. This supposedly upset Mrs. Davis becuase she had children with her.
According to Smith's article, there was security sitting across the aisle from Davis because of her known feistiness. So why didn't this security guard step in? Why did the situation escalate? Antonio Davis's later statements said that he saw something escalating for a while during play, and only at the next timeout did he act. If security had been doing their job, this wouldn't have happened.
That's one of the reasons the NBA used to justify their "light" 5-game suspension of Davis. While suspensions in the double digit range are the league guidelines following last year's melee in Detroit, the league went easy on Davis because the team's security guard was in the lockerroom following Maurice Taylor's ejection. They also took into account his status as President of the union and his long history of being one of the league's good guys.
While it's still longer than Chicagoist thought he should have received, the Trib's Rick Morrisey thought the NBA wimped out. We're not sure what incident Morrisey saw, because he's saying the NBA should have given Davis at least 10 game. He says we're lucky Davis going into the stands didn't incide a riot!?! Um, and how's that? It's nothing like last season when Artest went into the stands and started pummelling anyone he thought might have thrown that cup. Davis went up to protect his wife, not beat on fans. To protect his family, not exact revenge on somebody smaller than he. Beating on fans might have caused a riot, but only a fool would have thought that was Davis's intentions. He understood the concequences of his actions, is taking the suspension (and $850k loss of pay) and holding his head high for protecting his family. We think that if Morrisey believes the NBA are wimps, then he's stupid.