Embattled Indiana Pacers forward Ron Artest asked the public Tuesday to "move on" from Friday night's brawl in Auburn Hills, Mich., as reports that an additional player was involved in the melee reached local authorities.
Artest, whose season-long suspension was appealed Tuesday by the NBA Players Association, went on a media offensive in a series of national and local interviews, expressing contrition and regret for his role in the brawl at a game with the Detroit Pistons even as he plugged a new CD he produced for an R&B band.
"Things happen and you move on," Artest said on NBC's "Today Show." "Nobody benefited from this situation."
Meantime, Auburn Hills police said they have videotape showing Pacers reserve center David Harrison striking two men, according to Lt. James Manning, spokesman for the Auburn Hills Police Department.
Harrison hit one of the men, John Ackerman, 67, twice. Neither Harrison nor anyone from Pacers' management would comment.
NBA spokesman Tim Andree told the Washington Post that NBA officials had reviewed footage of the blows delivered by Harrison over the weekend and decided not to suspend him.
Four Pacers have been suspended: Artest, Stephen Jackson (30 games), Jermaine O'Neal (25) and Anthony Johnson (5).
The Pacers activated Johnson on Tuesday from the injured list, two weeks earlier than expected, and he began serving his suspension. He has not played this season because of a broken right hand.
The players union filed an appeal Tuesday day to reduce the suspensions of Artest, Jackson and O'Neal.
Attorneys for Ackerman and William Paulson filed separate lawsuits in Oakland County Circuit Court on Tuesday against the Pacers franchise, Artest, Jackson and O'Neal, according to the Associated Press. Ackerman has also named Palace Sports & Entertainment, which operates the Pistons' arena. They have asked for unspecified damages.
Paulson, 26, claims that Jackson struck him. In his suit, Ackerman says he was punched by O'Neal. Police say Ackerman is mistaken about who hit him.
Artest said on the "Today Show" that he regretted his involvement in Friday's incident.
"I respect (NBA Commissioner) David Stern's decisions, but I don't think I should have been out for the whole season," he said.
The man who threw the cup that hit Artest was identified by Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca on Monday as 39-year-old John Green of West Bloomfield Township, Mich.
Bobcats make statement
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The expansion team beat the championship team.
Charlotte's Emeka Okafor had the best game of his young rookie season with 22 points and 15 rebounds as the Bobcats defeated the Detroit Pistons, 91-89.
The Bobcats won for just the second time this season, and became the first expansion team to beat the reigning NBA champion since Portland and Buffalo defeated the New York Knicks during the 1970-71 season.
"We made the statement before that we're not just an expansion team, but it means more if we win," Okafor said. "It just kind of shows that we're legit, and 'expansion' is just a label."
Detroit's Rasheed Wallace was ejected for picking up two technicals for Detroit, which played without suspended Ben Wallace.
Around the rim
Jamaal Tinsley had a career-high 29 points and James Jones had a career-best 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the suspension-weakened Pacers to a 106-96 win over the Celtics. . . . Nazr Mohammed had another strong game against the team that traded him last season, scoring 18 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to lead the Knicks past the Hawks, 104-88. . . . Zach Randolph had 24 points as the Trail Blazers pulled away from the Heat, 99-87. . . . Rashard Lewis scored 27 points, Ray Allen added 24 and the SuperSonics made 10 of 19 three-point attempts in a 103-92 victory over the Timberwolves. . . . Kenyon Martin had 22 points and 12 rebounds in the Nuggets' 90-88 victory over his former team, the Nets. . . . Speedy Claxton scored 21 points, including five free throws in the final 15 seconds of the third overtime, to help the Warriors beat the Hornets, 115-109.
Three men were arrested Tuesday night for trying to extort $3 million from Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony. Joubert Santos and Jason Pabon of the Bronx, and Rodrigo Sanchez of South Orange, N.J., had a videotape that showed Anthony fighting at a Manhattan nightclub in September. No one was hurt in the fight, but the three men demanded $3 million for the tape.