2004 : Worst Brawl in NBA History

November 19, 2020 all-day

On November 19, 2004, a fight broke out between members of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers. As the on-court fight died down, a fan threw a cup of Diet Coke at Pacers forward Ron Artest, who then rushed into the crowd, sparking a melee between players and spectators.

The fight resulted in the suspension of nine players, criminal charges against five players, and criminal charges against five spectators. The offending fans were banned from attending games at The Palace. In the aftermath of the fight, the NBA decided to increase the security presence between players and spectators. The fact that the fight took place at The Palace of Auburn Hills led it become colloquially referred to as “The Malice at the Palace” and “Basketbrawl”.

For more information, see Zlati Meyer, “One cup thrown leads to infamous Malice at the Palace”, Detroit Free Press, November 16, 2014.

Vincent Goodwill Jr., “Ten years later: ‘The Brawl’ prompted change in NBA”, Detroit News, November 19, 2014.

Shawn Windsor, “Ugliness of ‘Malice at the Palace’ still stuns”, Detroit Free Press, November 19, 2014.

Scott Ferkovitch, “The Malice at the Palace was one of the ugliest brawls in pro sports history“, Michigan Athletic Company Blog, March 16, 2017

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