Today Is The 15th Anniversary of The Malice At The Palace
15 years ago today, one of the most infamous moments in sports history took place in Auburn Hills, and will forever be known as the Malice at the Palace.
The Pistons and Pacers were number 1 and 2 in the Eastern Conference when they took the court on November 19th, 2004. There was no love lost between the two teams, and everyone knew it would be a rough game. Nobody could have guessed that the game would end with one of the ugliest moments in sports.
That moment changed the way we watch live sporting events forever, and it has been dissected in every way possible over the last 15 years. SBNation did a deep dive about that night, and traced it back to the previous year in the playoffs.
It's crazy to think that the Pistons were in the middle of a historic championship run when this happened. Detroit was the center of the basketball world at the time, which made the incident even more explosive.
Even though it's been 15 years, everyone still talks about the fights. Every Pistons fan, myself included, knows exactly where they were when it happened. The people in the crowd talk about the insanity that ensued, including a couple of Genesee County residents that were actually involved in the fight.
The fight on the court was calmed down fairly quickly, and it should have ended there. The problem came when a fan decided to throw a drink at Ron Artest after the fight. I've always wondered what was going through that idiots head. Check out the Ron Artest special below to get the answer to that question.
When everything was said and done, the punishments were heavy. Here is a breakout of the suspensions handed out.
- Ron Artest - Suspended for the rest of the season (73 games) and the playoffs.
- Stephen Jackson - Suspended for 30 games
- Jermaine O'Neal - Suspended 15 games
- Anthony Johnson - Suspended 5 games
- Reggie Miller - Suspended 1 game
- Ben Wallace - Suspended 6 games
- Chauncey Billups - Suspended 1 game
There were a handful of other Pistons suspended for one game for leaving the bench, but they didn't play any part in the fight.
The Pistons and Pacers met in the playoffs, but there were no fireworks as the Pistons moved onto the NBA Finals again. This time they lost to the Spurs in seven games. There are a lot of people that would argue that neither franchise ever fully recovered from what happened. It definitely tore that Pacers team apart over the next year.
I always wonder if even recognizing the anniversary is the right thing to do. I've tried to stick to major milestone years, like 10 and 15. I know the memory will never completely go away, and it's probably best to remember what happened to ensure that it never happens again.