The former Ron Artest, who is also the current Metta World Peace, appears set to lose several thousand dollars in compensation during his suspension for the elbow that dropped James Harden in Sunday's L.A. Lakers-Oklahoma City Thunder game.
World Peace will be forced to the bench for seven games for the hit on the OKC guard, but even with the suspension, he'll still pocket more than $6 million this year. Good work if you can get it.
While there are a couple of figures out there on how much World Peace will have kept out of his checks, it's pretty formidable compared with what most fans take home for their day jobs. Forbes put the amount at $430,000 of his $6.8 million salary. That report, citing the NBA, said that players are fined 1/110th of a season's salary for each game they're suspended, whether that's during the regular season or the playoffs. ESPN had the figure at nearly $348,000 in salary if all the games are lost this season.
Anyone who knows this particular player's history is well aware that he has been known for occasionally volatile moments, to put it mildly. In particular, remember back to a more infamous event centered around him when he was unequivocally known as Artest -- that would be the massive brawl he was heavily involved in as a member of the Indiana Pacers during a game at the Detroit Pistons in 2004.
That fight cost him more than $4 million, but as Forbes points out in this slideshow of NBA penalties, it wasn't the stiffest setback in the association's history. That "honor" belongs to the case of Gilbert Arenas, who lost more than $7 million in the 2009-2010 season because of a gun-related suspension while he was playing for the Washington Wizards.
World Peace isn't the only pro athlete in the news at the moment who's facing a substantial monetary surrender because of bad behavior. Another massive loss is set to be incurred by New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, who won't get the $7.5 million he was due for the upcoming season now that's he's been suspended by NFL chief Roger Goodell in the wake of the bounty probe in the Big Easy.
Over on the ice, Raffi Torres of the Phoenix Coyotes just got a 25-game suspension for an illegal hit only days ago on the Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa. Hossa had to be carried to the locker room, and Torres is undoubtedly going to lose a few hundred thousand bucks -- it would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $533,000, if his penalty were based on his salary for regular season games.
Those are far, far from the only penalties in the world of sports over the years, and of course as salaries have gotten bigger, so have the financial impacts. Here, we look at a few other big-dollar notables from the not-too-distant past.
One of the top losses across pro sports came in 2009, when Manny Ramirez of the L.A. Dodgers missed out on $7.7 million of his salary following his 50-game drug test-related ban. That same year, J.C. Romero of the Philadelphia Phillies forfeited $1.25 million in salary following a positive test for a banned substance , and the year before, Mike Cameron sacrificed 25 games for the Milwaukee Brewers, along with $792,350 in salary, owing to a stimulant suspension.
Albert Haynesworth, a huge free-agent signing for the Washington Redskins who's now on about his 30th disappointed NFL team, lost $847,000 while sitting out what ended up being his last four games for the team from the nation's capital -- that came after coach Mike Shanahan basically told Haynesworth to stay home.
Four years prior, he'd been docked around $190,000 while playing for the Tennessee Titans and kicking the Dallas Cowboys' Andre Gurode in the face, a stomp that also got him a five-game suspension. That was well before Dan Snyder moved him to the mid-Atlantic with a $100 million deal and enabled Big Al to lose significantly more per game check.
Back in the NHL, the Vancouver Canucks' Todd Bertuzzi delivered a surprise punch on the Colorado Avalanche's Steve Moore in 2004, costing him about $502,000 because of his subsequent suspension. In another well-known case, veteran Marty McSorley, while playing for the Boston Bruins, got a $72,000 fine toward the end of the 1999-2000 season for hitting Vancouver's Donald Brashear in the head with his stick. McSorley was banned for the rest of the year and that was later extended. He didn't play again in the league.
More recently, Chris Simon of the New York Islanders got suspended for 30 games after he kicked Jarkko Ruutu of the Pittsburgh Penguins in a December 2007 game. Simon, who was only a couple of months removed from a 25-game suspension from the previous season for slashing Ryan Hollweg of the New York Rangers, lost roughly $350,000 for the longer ban.
Keep the talk going. What are some other notable suspensions, fines and salary losses you remember well (even if you don't want to)?
- Ron Artest