Malice at the Palace started by fans, Sandiford-Artest, Jackson say

Former NBA players Metta Sandiford-Artest and Stephen Jackson looked back on the “Malice at the Palace” incident from 2004 on Monday, prov...

Former NBA players Metta Sandiford-Artest and Stephen Jackson looked back on the “Malice at the Palace” incident from 2004 on Monday, providing a behind-the-scenes perspective from the brawl between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons during an episode of Showtime’s “All the Smoke.”

The bench-clearing brawl at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan, saw Sandiford-Artest, formerly known as Ron Artest and Metta World Peace, suspended for 73 regular-season games and Jackson suspended for 30 games. All in all, a combined nine Pacers and Pistons players were suspended a total of 146 games

Sandiford-Artest went into the stands after an alcoholic beverage was thrown at his head while he was cooling down on the scorer’s table following an altercation with Pistons All-Star center Ben Wallace. Sandiford-Artest immediately responded by charging at the fan. 

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In this Nov. 19, 2004, file photo, Indiana Pacers' Ron Artest, now know as Metta Sandiford-Artest is restrained by teammate Austin Croshere and Pacers' assistant coach Mike Brown before being escorted off the court following their fight with the Detroit Pistons and fans in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

“I didn’t go up there to hit him,” Sandiford-Artest said on the podcast. “I went up there to shake him like, ‘yo’ like a real good shake. … Like, why’d you throw a beer at my face, bro?”

After that initial altercation between Sandiford-Artest and the fan, a massive brawl broke out that saw spectators go onto the court. 

Jackson chimed in on jumping in to fight when the fans came onto the court: “I couldn’t let that (expletive) ride.”

Sandiford-Artest responded, “Yo, listen, I never wanted you to do that.” 

Sandiford-Artest and Jackson said it was the first time recounting the specifics of the incident together. 

The NBA in 2005 implemented a rule to limit the sale of alcohol in games. Jackson said of the fans’ part in the brawl: “They started it.”

Jackson then added that the referees were at least partially to blame: “(The brawl) (expletive) up our whole season. We didn’t deserve that. At the end of the day, we were at work. A beer came out of the stands. Referees did a horrible job. They should’ve done a better good job escorting off the court. Instead they let it linger so long that the fans got into it.”

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Newsrust: Malice at the Palace started by fans, Sandiford-Artest, Jackson say
Malice at the Palace started by fans, Sandiford-Artest, Jackson say
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