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Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

a look back at the most notorious fan-player clash in sports history: The Malice at The Palace

a+look+back+at+the+most+notorious+fan-player+clash+in+sports+history%3A+The+Malice+at+The+Palace

On November 19, 2004, a seemingly normal day in the NBA, there was a game with two contending teams in the pacers and pistons going down. The first three quarters were a regular-feeling game, with the pacers leading the way in the fourth quarter. But when there were 45.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter, starting center Ben Wallace got fouled a little hard, which led to anger, and Ben Wallace started pushing Indiana forward Ron Artest (now known as Metta Sandiford-Artest), which started a little scuffle between teams that got stopped quickly even though they were still heated. What happened next changed many rules, gave out many fines, and impacted many players’ lives. A random fan ( which now we know is John Green) would throw a cup from the top rows at Ron, leading Ron and other players to go in the stands and start fighting the fans One of the most memorable eyewitnesses was Hall of Famer Pacer Reggie Miller, saying, “I see the red cup traveling in slow motion… It was like the incredible hulk; he (Ron) turned green”. Even Miller at the time was being questioned, as since he was in a suit, they thought he would have something to do with it being that he’s not a player and they couldn’t recognize the player. From Miller’s account, they said they were going to “Mace Ron.”. But the cops said otherwise, saying, “I had no intention of spraying Ron Artest. He was already down on the floor. He looked worn out.” There was a Detroit fan (known as Charlie Haddad) that was on the court and booing Jermaine O’Neal( the pacers forward-center). Haddad was rushing on the court, and that’s when O’Neal proceeded to throw a punch, which did not connect due to O’Neal slipping on the court. Miller would go on to say, “That was the best miss of Jermaine’s career. If Jermaine would have connected on that punch, that fan would have been dead.”. This just shows that, as professional athletes, they are so much bigger and stronger that they fear death from a single punch. When they got all the players back to the locker room, Ron had one question, and that question was, “Do you think we are going to get in trouble for this?” Indeed, they did with Ron getting an 86-game suspension, which, for people that do not know, is a season and four games. O’Neal received a 25-game suspension, which was reduced to 15 games. This is on top of their other teammates suspensions, like Stephen Jackson getting suspended while O’Neal and Artest got misdemeanor assault charges. This changed the narrative for athletes and made the leagues try to make them look and act more professional. This also called for a crackdown on unnecessary roughness in major sports, new rules, and more suspensions as time goes on. In my opinion, the league handled this great, and they succeeded with their mission because you don’t see this a lot anymore.

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About the Contributor
Brody Berman, writer
Hi! My name is Brody Berman. I am a junior at Danbury High School. I am trying to contribute to the Hatter's Herald. I want to because I find it interesting what people don't know. So I want to inform the people of what they don't know. I have 1 dog and he is a Shih Tzu. I like to watch and play basketball. It has really been my only habit as of late.

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