The day of November 19, 2004, will go down in NBA history as a watershed moment in the way fans and athletes interact. We show a never-before-seen film from that night and hear from individuals who were present for the first time, giving the players an opportunity to explain their actions and defend their character in the aftermath of a night that ruined their reputations both on and off the field.
The Malice at the palace incident is one of the darkest days in NBA history. We have all seen the footage, players running into the stands, fans hurling objects, and just an all-out brawl occurring. We know this, we have seen this, but in this article, we are going to talk about the things you probably don’t know that happened on that fateful night and what followed.
Someone throws a beer at Ron, who is lying down calmly on the scorer’s table. Why, so unnecessary? Well turns out it was done because of a bet between two drunk buddies. One bet the other 50 dollars he couldn’t hit Artest, the other took it, and we know what happens. Now back to this moment, Artest just got hit with a beer and is about to charge right into the crowd. He is filled with anger and adrenaline, and he bolts, running through everyone and anyone to get his hands on the beer thrower.
In doing so, he trampled Pacers play-by-play announcer Mark Boyle, who ended up fracturing five vertebrates in his attempt to stop Ron. He joked about it years later, saying it wasn’t the smartest decision trying to stop him and that if he did, he should be in the NFL, So now this moment, Ron gets into the stand, wrestles this dude to the floor, and is about to throw some haymakers at this poor individual. Most of us know this is the wrong dude. He wasn’t the beer thrower, but who he was, was that drunk friend that bet his buddy he couldn’t hit Ron.
So, in essence, he played a big role in kickstarting everything. Why Ron went after him is because his arm was up in the air after he had lost the bet, telling his friend he owes him a 50. How Ron perceived it was him cheering that he was able to hit Ron with the cup. Now at this point, all hell breaks loose. A lot of the fans and players here get into a physical altercation, but did you know one of those fans was Ben Wallace’s brother. David Wallace. He denied having any part of it for weeks after these events, but when the footage was finally released, there was undeniable proof.
David Wallace is throwing numerous punches at Indiana Pacers guard Fred Jones. After the Pacers were escorted to the locker room, Ron, after basically starting a stadium clearing brawl, asked teammate Stephen Jackson If he thinks they are going to get in trouble. Jackson replied we’d be lucky to have a job. This game actually never finished.
There were 50 seconds still left in the 4th, but with so many safety concerns and the game score being quite lopsided, the Pacers were awarded the W Nine players were suspended for their roles in the brawl for a total of 146 games.
Artest received the biggest chunk of this pie, receiving an 86 game suspension which would become the longest suspension in NBA history. It would cover the regular season and playoffs. What really rubs salt on this wound is the title-contending Pacers would be bounced out of the playoffs by their archrivals. The Detroit Pistons Jermaine O Neal’s 25 game suspension was brought to court. He and his people took it up to the US district court, saying Stern didn’t have the authority to give out a suspension of this manner as it was technically an off-court incident.
The judge ruled in his favor, and it was reduced to 15. Collectively, 11 million dollars worth of salary was lost by the suspended players. Now everyone knows who Tim Donaghy is, a disgraced NBA ref who bet on games he refed and would end up going to jail for it. If you didn’t think his officiating track record was bad already, he was also one of the referees during this game.
He attempted to keep Artest from going into the stands during the attack but failed. This game doesn’t really get brought up with Tim Donaghy, but it does add another black mark to his officiating career. In total, ten individuals received a criminal conviction for their part in the brawl—five players and five civilians, including Ben Wallace’s brother.
After this incident, a rule was passed that the sale of alcohol would be cut late in-game. Later that season, when the Pacers returned to Detroit to play, the game was delayed by 90 minutes due to a bomb threat in the Pacers locker room. Artest revealed later on, on the John Eisen talk show, he became friends with the individual who threw a beer at him and even went as far as to apologize to him. Why? Because he wanted to let, his grudges go.
What a guy! Lastly, the Malice at the Palace incident has been made into a documentary. So, how many of the facts did you know? Comment below the ones you didn’t know. This earns your ranks where we only talk about ball signing off.
November 19, 2004, will go down in NBA history as a day that forever changed the way fans and athletes connect. For the first time, we display a never-before-seen film from that night and hear the narrative from those who were there, allowing the players a chance to explain their behavior and defend their character in the aftermath of a night that tarnished their reputations both on and off the field.