Five-Year Anniversay of ‘The Brawl’

by November 19, 2009

Sorry, I forgot to get you a gift on this momentous occasion: “Five years ago today, in the final minute of a blowout statement victory over the defending champion Pistons, former Pacer Ron Artest fouled Ben Wallace, who then shoved Artest. Rather than retaliate, Artest retreated to the scorer’s table — until Pistons fan John Green hit Artest with a beer cup. What followed shook the NBA, destroyed the Pacers’ realistic championship hopes and contributed mightily to the revamped roster you see today. In the chaos that ensued on national television, Artest launched himself into the stands and exchanged punches with fans. Stephen Jackson followed him and also came to blows. Jermaine O’Neal punched a fan who ran onto the court. Angry patrons threw trash and insults at the Pacers as they left the arena. ‘That was the beginning of the end of things for the organization,’ former Indiana Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh said. ‘It set things in motion.”‘