‘Malice At The Palace’ premiered yesterday on Netflix. The documentary is about behind the scenes of the 2004 brawl between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons, featuring the fans from Detroit. This fight is considered the worst moment in NBA history. Pacers and Pistons were major rivals at the time. So things were boiling on the way to this game.
Pacers and Pistons were the two best teams in the Eastern Conference in 2004 and 2005. Pistons had defeated the Pacers in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals to advance to the NBA Finals and winning the championship. Pacers had Reggie Miller, Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest, Jamaal Tinsley, and so on. For the 2004-2005 season, Pacers made another move to strengthen their roster. They went on to get Stephen Jackson from the San Antonio Spurs. The Pacers were ready to make a run to an NBA title.
On November 19th, 2004, the NBA would change forever. Pacers dominated the Pistons from start to finish. While the Pacers were up 97-82 with less than a minute to go, the documentary shows Jamaal Tinsley telling Ron Artest to “take his foul.” Why would you say to a guy like Ron Artest to do that? In those days, Ron Artest had depression and anxiety problems. You don’t need to add more fuel to the fire. After those comments, Pistons center Ben Wallace would get fouled by Ron Artest, which led to Wallace showing Artest.
Artest laid down on top of the score’s table. Everything was going to calm down for a bit until an idiot fan threw a cup at Ron Artest, which led to Artest going to the stands to attack the wrong fan. Stephen Jackson joined him by throwing punches, and it just got worse and worse. As Artest returned to the court, another Pistons fan charged him, and they began to fight. Jermaine O’Neal came to Ron Artest’s aid and threw a punch at the fan. This fan deserves to get banned because to this day, he tries to play the victim and making it seem that he was innocent when he should’ve not been in the court in the place. Fans like that who have no class and dignity don’t deserve to be allowed in the area. Jamaal Tinsley started by instigating, but the fan who threw the cup changed the entire narrative of the story.
It was blasphemous that the cop was lying about him not trying to mace Ron Artest in the documentary. The footage clearly shows that he was attempting to mace Ron Artest, and Reggie Miller didn’t allow that to happen, and Reggie has said this on numerous occasions. The cop also said that he didn’t know who Reggie Miller was. I have a hard time believing that. Security and police officers failed that night, players and fans failed that night. So many people were at fault in this event.
Artest, Jackson, and O’Neal were suspended for multiple games. However, I feel that Jermaine O’Neal didn’t deserve to get suspended for 25 games. I felt that was a little too extreme.
The brawl cost Reggie Miller and the Pacers a possible chance of win an NBA title that season. Overall, the documentary was fascinating. I wish it could’ve been a little longer.