While Ron Artest remains an easy target for columnists, chat show hots and psuedo-bloggers alike, Seattle’s Danny Fortson, who might genuinely be the biggest jerk in the NBA, struggles to get a fraction of the publicity. Not for a lack of trying however.
His latest ejection and suspension burns deeply and hurts more than in the past. Three months from his 30th birthday, Danny Fortson sees his career decaying slowly, marred by flagrant fouls and technical fouls.
“They want me to be physical. Kind of like make up your mind. Am I here to play basketball, set screens, do the things necessary to win,” he said. “Technicals? Ejections? And the fines? I don’t agree with it one bit. As a matter of fact, I am going to fight it. I don’t deserve to get thrown out of the games all the time. It’s wrong. I think I am being singled out. It’s unfair.”
“There are a lot of old referees that they should probably re-evaluate,” he said. “Everyone sees the same thing that I see. I’m not as crazy as everyone makes me out to be. Clearly, things are set against me, as simple as that. It’s hard to come out here and play every day and you’ve got some old man that’s bitter about something who wants to take it out on you. I don’t know if he had a bad day during the day, whatever it is, they’re just all bitter.”
The low point, Fortson said, was the aftermath of a flagrant foul against Phoenix Suns forward Zarko Cabarkapa on Nov. 26, 2003, that shattered Cabarkapa’s wrist. Suns chairman Jerry Colangelo called Fortson a “thug” and New York Post columnist Peter Vecsey wrote Fortson was a “meaningless mass.”
“My reputation has been destroyed by Jerry Colangelo and Peter Vecsey from the New York Post, as simple as that,” Fortson said. “Ever since they went out and talked about me, my life sucks and my career and I blame them.”