Detroit Pistons 10 Years Later: Malice at the Palace Still a Black Eye (Video)


November 19, 2004

The Malice at the Palace, The Detroit Pistons vs The Indiana Pacers happened 10 years ago today and goes down in history still, as one of the biggest black eyes on the NBA.

This is the same NBA that had to deal with an owner, Donald Sterling being found out to be highly racist and  Tim Donaghy, who was betting on games that he had officiated. While bad for the NBA, but the Malice at the Palace was one of the biggest talked about events purely because of one simple thing; players went after fans.

If you have zero idea to what the Malice at the Palace was, I suggest you watch this video of the full incident. Keep in mind, the video is a little old. This was 2004 after all.

With about a minute left in the last quarter of play, a small fight breaks out, at first only between the players. You can see a lot of shoving and pushing from Ben Wallace to Ron Artest. Players from both teams join in and the small bickering match turns into a full-out brawl between the two teams. Which if this whole things ends now, the NBA could have probably moved on with a few fines and suspension to some players and we all could continue on.

However, this whole situation gets so much better.

Ron Artest is laying on the scorers table when a fan throws their drink at him. Throwing your drink at a player after they got done with a fight is the equivalent of poking a sleeping bear. It is just stupid. So Artest takes off into the stands and basically fights the fan. Which leads to Wallace along with numerous other players from both teams to take off into the stands as well. In the video above you can clearly see Artest punching people, at one point I think there was a chair thrown into a group of people.

Nine players were suspended for a whopping 146 games altogether and fined around 11 million dollars lost by players. Along with that 5 players were charged with assault and ending up getting a years probation. Ron Artest was suspended 73 games after the brawl which is the longest suspension in league history.

Today many of the players involved are either retired or not playing for the Detroit Pistons or Indiana Pacers. Ron Artest who now goes as Pandas Friend (I kid you not, that is his name) is playing basketball with the Chinese Basketball Association’s Sichuan Blue Whales. He even has a shoe that he wears that has a panda head as the tongue of the shoe.

The Malice at the Palace was in simple terms pure chaos. It goes down as one of the worst brawls to happen in the NBA but only because it involved players going into the stands and attacking fans. You can yell at fans and say terrible things to them, but the one rule is, you do not put your hands on them.

Tonight the Pistons take on the Phoenix Suns at 7:30 pm.