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Friday, May 2
Updated: May 9, 1:32 PM ET
Artest admits he should have just walked away

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Ron Artest apologized Friday for getting into a shoving match with a team official after the Indiana Pacers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.

Artest became enraged following Game 6 Thursday when he was pelted with debris from fans at Boston while he was heading back to the locker room. Artest spotted the offender and attempted to get into the stands, but was restrained by law enforcement officers and team officials.

"I just wanted to go over there and throw something back at him,'' said Artest, who acknowledged he just should have walked away.

Then Artest got into a shoving match with former Pacers great Mel Daniels, now the team's director of player personnel.

"Mel did the right thing,'' Artest said. "He's a guy in the organization that I know that was telling me just, 'Let it go.' As much I didn't want to let it go, Mel was strong enough to pull me back in the locker room.''

Artest said he was glad Daniels was there to prevent the incident from escalating. He also said he would not pursue any further action against the unidentified fan.

It was the latest in season-long string of trouble for Artest.

Artest was suspended five times by the league and once by the Pacers for a total of 12 games. He led the league in flagrant-foul points with nine and was fined $155,000 and lost more than $250,000 in salary.

While other Pacers cleaned out their lockers Friday, Artest was shooting jumpers at Conseco Fieldhouse.

"I wish everybody could work as hard as I work, could go as hard as I go,'' Artest said. "Everybody's got their own minds.''


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• Vitale: Artest needs to grow up

• Pierce, Celtics eliminate Pacers with Game 6 rout

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