Now that the rest of the Pacers have spoken their peace, Stephen Jackson has finally issued an apology for his role in the Indianapolis Strip Club Drive-by Showdown:
"I want to apologize to my teammates, to the fans and to this organization. It was a very unfortunate incident. I definitely take responsibility for my actions and everything I've done. I'm definitely blessed to be here today. I didn't really think I'd be up the next day after I got hit by a car and be walking. But I'm definitely blessed. I'm glad to be on the court. I'm happy to be alive and be able to be with my teammates and my family."An "unfortunate incident"? That's like calling the Holocaust "a minor ideological misunderstanding." But whatever. Despite the public support offered by his teammates, at least one person hasn't blithly accepted Jax's actions: the Marion Country prosecuter, who today charged Jackson with criminal recklessness, disorderly conduct, and battery.This could be bad for Jackson, who recently had his probation extended after he did not complete the terms of the sentence he received for the 2004 brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Jackson had been sentenced to one year of probation, 60 hours of community service, fined $250 and ordered to undergo anger management counseling for his part in the brawl. No one has reported which part (or parts) of the sentence Jax didn't fulfill, but my money's on the anger management counseling. But that's just me.While Jackson is leading the apology parade, Jermaine O'Neal is playing the fife and drums. O'Neal, who testified today regarding his involvement in the 2004 brawl at The Palace of Auburn Hills, said he's ashamed for punching a fan but feels he made the best decision he could at the time to protect himself and his teammates.
"I'm ashamed of that entire night. I'm ashamed that Jermaine O'Neal's name is going to be connected with this for the rest of my life."I don't know about you, but I'm inclined to believe him, because talking in the third person is a universal sign of shame. But although he started out all humble and contrite, O'Neal quickly shifted the blame away from Jermaine O'Neal.
"It became an extremely scary and unbelievable situation. I am the leader of my team. I am responsible for my team at all times as long as I am with my team. In a situation where it's a melee and people are really trying to hurt you, you have no time (to think)."Notice how O'Neal qualified his statement of responsibility to his team so that it only included those times he's actually with his team. So, you know, if there's a fight and a shooting outside of a strip club and he's not there, well, then he's not really responsible for punching anyone involved.All five remaining Pacers fans will soon receivethis e-greeting from firstname.lastname@example.org.