Bird says team will try to help Artest

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers' front office offered an apology and support for suspended players in the wake of stiff penalties against those involved in Friday night's brawl at the end of a nationally televised game at Detroit.

The stiffest penalty was the season-ending suspension of forward Ron Artest.

Pacers president Larry Bird on Monday voiced support for Artest and said the team would do all it could to get him back playing as quickly as possible.

Still, Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh called the brawl a low point in professional sports, and apologized for the team during a mid-afternoon news conference.

Police, meanwhile, are considering possible criminal charges. The Oakland County, Mich., prosecutor said authorities have talked by telephone with a man who admits being a fan seen on video throwing a cup. They hope to talk with him in person once he hires an attorney.