FanPost

11/19/21 Friday OT: Fight Me

The Malice at the Palace (also known as the Pacers–Pistons brawl)[2][3] occurred during a National Basketball Association (NBA) game between the Indiana Pacers and the defending champion Detroit Pistons on Friday, November 19, 2004, at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States. The Associated Press (AP) called it "the most infamous brawl in NBA history."[4]

With the Pacers leading 97–82 and 45.9 seconds left in the game,[5] Pistons center Ben Wallace attempted a layup shot but was fouled from behind by Pacers small forward Ron Artest. A furious Wallace then shoved Artest, and a fight broke out on the court between players of both teams. After the fight was broken up, a fan, John Green, threw a drink at Artest from the stands while he was lying on the scorer's table to calm himself down. Artest then charged up to the stands and grabbed another fan, Michael Ryan, whom he mistakenly believed was the culprit, and this immediately escalated into a brawl that lasted for several minutes with fans and players involved. Referees subsequently called an end to the game without playing the remaining time.

After the game, the NBA suspended nine players, including Artest and Wallace, for a total of 146 games, leading to the players losing US$11 million in salary. Five players were charged with assault, and eventually sentenced to a year of probation and community service. Five fans also faced assault charges and were banned from attending Pistons home games for life. The fight also led the NBA to increase security between players and fans and limit the sale of alcohol at games.