When I say this is peak 90s, this might actually be it. Bill Gates, the old school Rockets, Jerry Seinfeld, Inside Stuff and no one batting an eye that Vernon Maxwell went into the stands to hit a fan. This took place in 1995 - the middle of the Rockets going back-to-back! It's hardly mentioned in crazy NBA stories, probably because the Malice at the Palace is just so outrageous that it's impossible to talk about anything other than that.
The best part - I went and found an article from that time to see what the punishment was. The headline is 'the NBA is coming down hard on Maxwell.' Here's the punishment:
Maxwell, meanwhile, is handling it through his attorney and saying he was provoked into punching a fan by the man's racist and defamatory comments.Maxwell was suspended for at least 10 games and fined $20,000 by the NBA on Wednesday for going into the stands and punching a heckler during a game at Portland two nights earlier.
10 games! That's it for going into the stands - multiple rows up - and fighting a fan. Sure, he may have gotten a lawsuit too, but the NBA thought 10 games was extreme. Just for comparison sake - Jermaine O'Neal was originally suspended 25 games before getting it down to 15.
The biggest shock is that this was a Blazers fan and not a Jazz fan. Vernon Maxwell fucking HATES Utah:
Shit, imagine if we had I don't know Will Ferrell breaking down the Malice at the Palace for Sportscenter? That's essentially what's happening with Jerry Seinfeld and Inside Stuff. He's just making some jokes, making people laugh. The whole video is unbelievable. We really need to talk about Vernon Maxwell more.