03.09.07

Larry Bird’s Latest Discipline Problem

Posted in Basketball, The Law, When Mascots Attack at 3:57 am by

The Indy Star’s Andy Gammill on allegations that Pacers mascot Boomer (above) tackled a fan duringa¬† 2005 game and left the man with permanent damage to his back.

It’s no barroom brawl or strip-club shootout, but Nathaniel Jackson’s suit says the Pacers knew he had just had back surgery when the 6-foot-tall faux cat leaped on him from behind.

A spokesman for the Pacers declined to comment until the team had consulted with everyone involved in the lawsuit, which names the Pacers and the unidentified performer who played Boomer as defendants.

In his lawsuit, Jackson says he attended the March 11, 2005, game against Golden State and was asked to participate in a free-throw shooting contest.

He initially declined, citing his recent back surgery, but was assured “there would be no reason for concern or injury,” according to the lawsuit.

After the contest, the lawsuit says, he began to leave the court but was tackled by Boomer. The employee who knew about Jackson’s bad back told the mascot about the surgery, and Boomer responded by kicking at Jackson’s legs, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit refers to the defendant only as “John Doe a/k/a ‘Boomer,’ ” and the Pacers did not identify the employee or contractor. A biography on the team’s Web site lists the cat’s birth date as “fall of 1991″ and his chief dislike as people pulling on his tail.

Other than the birth date, that sounds a lot like Ron Artest’s old bio in the Pacers’ media guide.

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