Much like people take time to reminisce on the past as the end of a calendar year approaches, so too can people use the end of an NBA season for a time of reflection. Former NBA Defensive Player of the Year Metta World Peace, officially now known Metta Sandiford-Artest, did just that on Wednesday with a tweet that talked about his role in the infamous 2004 Pacers-Pistons brawl known as the “Malice at the Palace.”

In the tweet, Sandiford-Artest praises the current generation of NBA players and all but outright says he regrets being a part of the infamous brawl that took place over 15 years ago. 

Before the brawl began, Sandiford-Artest¬† — then known as Ron Artest — was lying on the scorer’s table trying to calm down after a brief scuffle between Detroit and Indiana players following a hard foul. Things got out of control when a fan threw a drink at the forward and hit him in the chest, which got Sandiford-Artest to run up into the stands and attack a different fan who Artest thought was responsible. Everything unraveled after that with players running into the stands to break up the fight and fans throwing more stuff at the players, and even throwing additional punches as well.

Sandiford-Artest got the largest suspension of any player involved because he was the first to jump into the crowd, even if he was very provoked. He was suspended for the remainder of the 2004-05 season, which totaled 86 games (73 regular season, 13 postseason). Not only did his involvement tarnish his reputation, it also essentially tanked the Pacers’ championship hopes that season, something Sandiford-Artest says he regrets to this day.

Things did eventually work out for the forward in terms of seeking championship glory, as he joined a Lakers team that went on to win a title in 2010. But one can only wonder how Artest’s career would have panned out had he not jumped into the crowd on that November evening.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here