It feels so strange to think about how the Malice At The Palace was just about 16 years ago to the day (November 19th, 2004). One of the most iconic brawls in league history, a total of 9 players were suspended 146 games. It was about as insane as it gets
If there was one sports moment that I wish took place while social media was around, the only answer has to be this right? Think about what it would be like if this brawl happened in 2020. Sucks that in 2004 we were all excited about the Razr or some shit and didn't have Twitter/the technology to truly take this brawl to the next level.
So naturally, when you tell me that Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace aka Metta Sandiford-Artest is going to sit down with Stephen Jackson and talk about the Malice At The Palace, that's about as must watch as it gets for me. Just like I hoped, it did not disappoint. To hear these two rehash that night and everything around it was fascinating to hear. It's why I love that former players have this sort of platform in 2020. Stephen Jackson starting off by saying he had no idea why there was beef but that he was without a doubt down for whatever was perfect. Stephen Jackson might be the most ride or die teammate of all time.
It was interesting to hear about how Artest's beef with Ben Wallace went all the way back to the DPOYs that Wallace won. No doubt they were two of the best defenders in the league during that era. Then once things escalated and got into the stands, I didn't realize that Jackson didn't start swinging until a second beer was tossed. At that point, it was game on.
The best part though is something you may have heard before, but it came when Jackson was talking about the moment in the locker room immediately after the brawl. Artest sitting back and asking if he thinks they'll get in trouble for that is laugh out loud funny. That just goes to show his mental state at that time. Imagine not knowing how fucked you are after beating the shit out of fans in the stands? Incredible.
I also think there's some truth to what Matt Barnes said about how Artest was looked at for the rest of his career after that night. It definitely screwed him. He never made another All Star team after that incident. He was traded to the Kings the next year. Only made two more All NBA Defensive teams when he was definitely still in his prime post-2004. Never won another DPOY. I do wonder how differently we would look at Artest's career had that fight not happened. Probably one of the best players of that early-to-mid 2000s era.