The only professional sport I'm fanatical about is baseball. I might watch 5 full NBA games a year. It just happened that I watched the last 5 minutes of the Pacers/Pistons game and I can tell you there is a huge difference between my feelings watching it live versus watching the video highlights, afterwards.
If you are not aware, after the brawl, ESPN's NBA crew were all talking about how horrible the fans were and host John Saunders was as irate as I can ever recall a broadcaster behaving, calling the Detroit fans "punks". Tim Legler stated that the saddest part of the whole melee is that the players are going to take the brunt of the heat from the incident. (paraphrasing) The whole panel all were of the position that the fans were the biggest culprits in the incident, but after David Stern hands down his edict, Stephen A. Smith sings a different tune from his initial judgements and completely buys into Stern's pronouncements.
This incident reminds me of the Rodney King tape, where if you just saw the horrible beating perpetrated by the police, you were irate, but if you saw the whole tape, which showed him refusing arrest in his drug-propelled fury, you had an altered impression. Not saying the cops actions were right, no more than I'm saying Artest was correct in his actions, just pointing out that if you are relying only on video highlights, you might not know the whole story. (King put police on a high-speed chase through neighborhoods which endangered many lives.)
I'm a journalism school grad and generally defend the media, but there are certain times where what the media offers the public is an unfair picture of what the actual live event was all about. If you watched the last 5 minutes of the Pacers/Pistons game and then the melee after, I believe most people would have a different point of view on the whole matter