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Pacers’ Ron Artest Draws Suspension

February 26, 2003

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Ron Artest did not join his Indiana Pacers teammates on their flight to Boston after he was suspended by coach Isiah Thomas for ``disciplinary reasons,″ The Indianapolis Star reported Wednesday.

Artest said he had been ordered to stay home by Thomas, the newspaper reported.

``He said he didn’t want me to go on the trip,″ Artest said after the Pacers’ 83-78 loss to the Washington Wizards. The Pacers play the Celtics on Wednesday night.

Thomas cited ``disciplinary reasons″ when contacted by the newspaper, but neither he nor Artest would elaborate.

The New York Post reported Wednesday that Artest was suspended after he grabbed a framed picture and smashed it against the locker room wall.

Artest, who was nursing a sore right elbow, shot 3-of-17 from the floor in Tuesday’s game against Washington. He had said Monday he wasn’t going to play, but was talked into starting.

``It’s going to take a little bit of rest,″ Artest said after the loss to the Wizards. ``I should have rested tonight. I shouldn’t have played.″

The 6-foot-7, 246-pound Artest has earned a reputation for aggressive play in his second season with the Pacers.

He received a four-game suspension for confronting the Miami Heat bench and brushing up against coach Pat Riley during a victory Jan. 27, then making an obscene gesture toward the Miami crowd.

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