Malice in the Palace is, to this day, one of the darkest events in NBA history. During an NBA game in 2004 between the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers. The game was full of tension between these two teams and at some point, it was unavoidable for them to get physical and things got out of control, with fans even taking part in one of the most outrageous incidents in the NBA in recent years.
Metta World Peace recently reunited with one of his teammates on that Pacers team, Stephen Jackson, to discuss the infamous moment, the build-up, and all the repercussions of such a bad event. The Palace at Auburn Hills, Detroit, witnessed how these two teams went at it with everything they had. Metta showed Ben Wallace (another player with a strong personality) and everything got out of control. It started with a fight between Wallace and the then-named Ron Artest which escalated to a brawl between both teams and then between the Pacers and the Pistons fans.
Metta recalled that moment during a recent edition of Showtime's 'All the Smoke' with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, with Jackson revealing they had a sense that something was going to happen that night (46:50 mark).
“It was the tension, you could feel it before, in warmups. I did not know the magnitude of the rivalry between the two. But I’m game, I’m down.”
Then World Peace chimed in and explained what he thought during those moments.
“Sorry to put you in that position. I don’t know what he would have done, but I am sorry because I kind of know you’re the real one. [I know] things happen and you jump in, I learned a lot from that. I don’t take my friends out. My certain friends at that time, I always make sure we're in the best… I even have security come, just to protect my friends, and you’re real one.”
Jackson was on fire that night and he took to the stands and fought a couple of fans. That's how big this event was for the NBA and these two squads.
“You could feel the tension, bro. I knew it was a good team, everybody said we could possibly win the championship. So this game against them, we blow them out. He had a great game, I had a good game… we was on a good start. At the end of the game, I’m at the free-throw line, I turn around, I had Jamaal say something to you, next thing I know ‘Nah I’m going at Ben’.”
This is indeed one of the most infamous moments in NBA history. This is still incredible and shocking nowadays, 16 years after all these things happened.