Words Sparked "Malice At The Palace"
What Ron Artest said to Ben Wallace to trigger infamous 2004 brawl
NOVEMBER 16--With the second anniversary of The Malice at The Palace approaching, a report obtained by The Smoking Gun finally reveals what Ron Artest said to Ben Wallace to help trigger the notorious brawl between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons. According to a Pistons official present at the November 19, 2004 game, Artest made a crude five-word suggestion to Wallace in the midst of a scrum at the game's conclusion. The fracas quickly got out of control when a Detroit fan threw a drink at Artest, who responded by jumping into the crowd with his fists flying. In a statement given to an NBA security official, Matt Dobek, Detroit's vice president of public relations, recounted what he saw from the corner of the Pistons bench. The Dobek statement, a copy of which you'll find below, was provided by the NBA to the Michigan prosecutor who investigated the brawl. Artest, who now plays for the Sacramento Kings, and Wallace, who has since decamped to the Chicago Bulls, both later copped pleas for their roles in the melee. (1 page)