Derek Fisher, who was named president of the NBA Players Association over All-Star weekend, says his fellow players are being unfairly linked to reports of crime and violence from All-Star weekend in Las Vegas.
"I've heard a lot of opinions [in the media], but those ought to be reserved for when something actually happens. To associate the violence with the players, that's not a fair assessment," the veteran Utah Jazz guard was quoted as saying in the Los Angeles Times.
Las Vegas police made a reported 362 arrests, and several shooting incidents were reported, although none were fatal. The only professional athlete linked to any of the violence was Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, whom police say sparked a melee that led to a triple shooting when he showered nightclub dancers with several thousand dollars as a visual effect. A scuffle broke out when the Houston promoter who hired the dancers told them to pick the money up.
"This Pacman story came out, which has been the biggest story of the weekend, and he doesn't have anything to do with the NBA," Fisher said, according to the Times. "We're not happy that he's in that situation, but it's frustrating that it's being tossed into our pool when, as far as I've heard to this point, our guys handled themselves responsibly, got in, had a good time, put on the best show they could put on and went back to their respective teams."
Fisher said he witnessed no disorderly conduct by his peers during All-Star weekend.
"I never experienced or saw anything that was even remotely out of character," Fisher said, according to the Times. "I didn't see any violence, no fights, not even any shoving."
"I'm not saying we're not concerned about our fans, and making sure people who want to come to events and have a good time can do so without feeling threatened and unsafe," Fisher said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. "But we can only control that at our venues. We can't control strip clubs and large gatherings and other places that aren't NBA venues."