NEW YORK — On February 6, 1995, Vernon Maxwell, then a member of the defending NBA champion Houston Rockets, pulled a Ron Artest while Ron Artest was still just a 15-year-old, acne-faced sophomore at New York City’s La Salle Academy.
During the third quarter, with the Rockets trailing, 79-52, Maxwell did the unthinkable – he charged into the stands and punched Steve George, a 35-year-old fan, right in the kisser.
Commissioner David Stern’s hand wasn’t as heavy back then. Maxwell got a 10-game suspension and a $20,000 fine.
Maxwell was in the final year of his deal with the Rockets, and most around the NBA were sure he’d never play in the league again.