Stephen Jackson, Ron Artest and Ben Wallace were all suspended and handed severe penalties for their roles in ‘Malice in the Palace’.
The incident came as a shock to the American public consciousness. It represented the worst of fan-player interactions, as both factions showcased their very worst behaviour in the situation.
The fight truly began when Artest punched a number of fans and went berserk after beer was thrown on his face as he lay at the scorer’s table. Stephen Jackson ran into the crowd to help Artest against an increasing pile of people. All hell had broken loose by that point.
The Pacers were rescued off the court as all kinds of snacks and beverages hit them on their way out. It was truly a jarring sight for sports fans, even years later. Jarring enough, in fact, that a Netflix documentary is being made on the era-defining incident.
Stephen Jackson breaks down Ron Artest’s role in ‘Malice in the Palace’ on the Rich Eisen Show
This documentary will also contain a lot of testimonials from Stephen Jackson. Stak was one of the primary instigators in the ensuing fight and suffered one of the biggest penalties among all those involved.
He clarified his own standpoint in an appearance on the Rich Eisen show some years back. Among the things he revealed were details regarding the mental states of Ben Wallace and Ron Artest at the time:
“This is what a lot of people don’t know. The game was basically over, you know – at that point, we were the best team in the league that year. We had the best record, and this game was our test to see where we were. They were one of the best teams at the time.”
“This was my first year in the team, and I didn’t know much about their rivalry from the past year. I didn’t know Ron was going to take out a foul from last year’s playoffs on Ben (Wallace). If I would’ve known, I would’ve stopped it. We all know Ron wasn’t in his right mind.”
That was his form of therapy..Go watch this interview from the Rich Eisen Show featuring Stephen Jackson https://t.co/BEvlTky1qa. He explains Ron was perfectly calm until a beer got thrown on him. Now you tell me wise ass, if a beer gets thrown onto you, you gonna be civil after?
— ⚡️Holden Storm⚡️ (@shutupstormii) July 28, 2021
“This is what people don’t know – a couple of days before that, Ben had just lost his mom. I knew he wasn’t in his right mind – if I lose my mom I probably won’t be in my right mind. He pushed Ron so hard, Ron’s head left the building and went to the parking lot.”
“As soon as he (Ron) calmed down, a beer came and hit him in his face. He took Ben Wallace pushing, all that trash talking, technical fouls. But he couldn’t take a beer being thrown at him.”