The players versus players versus fans brawl that broke out between the Pacers and Pistons, forever known as Malice at the Palace, celebrates its tenth anniversary today. While many people are writing retrospectives about what happened on that fateful day and remembering what they were doing like it was the fucking Kennedy assassination, I’d like to take a more present look at the event. What are the people who were involved in the altercation up to today?
Ron has attempted to atone for his actions on that day in various ways. He changed his name a couple times to things that resemble a weird position of peace. Granted, he did almost murder James Harden in cold blood with his elbow, but he now wears panda slippers every day, so that’s good, right? He’s also announced that upon his retirement from basketball, he will pursue candidacy for the office of Dalai Lama, despite the fact there is not a popular election for the position.
Jermaine O’Neal retired gracefully from basketball in 2010, following a remarkably consistent career in the NBA. Wait, what’s that? Jermaine O’Neal is still on an NBA roster? Who the fuck is paying that contract?
Big Ben, who was arguably the most responsible party for the whole thing, retired and has led a relatively quiet post-playing career. Although, he didn’t NOT get arrested for a DWI and carrying a concealed handgun.
Reggie was one of the people responsible for getting Artest off the court after shit really broke out. He’s taken that sort of cool levelheadedness and parlayed it into one of the most fabulously mediocre careers as a color commentator. It’s not that Reggie is particularly bad at his job, it’s more that every word that comes out of his mouth drips of disdain. Whether that’s intentional or merely the indirect result of two decades of being completely overrated as a player is up for debate.
Mike Brown parlayed his TV time as a hapless assistant coach trying to break up a fight into a full-time job as a hapless head coach who consistently forgets that part of his team’s job is to actually score baskets on their side of the court. He talked Cleveland into giving him a job and then jumped ship to the Lakers to preside over the shitfest that was the Kobe-Howard-Nash team, only to somehow bamboozle Cleveland into hiring him AGAIN when he got canned. Amazing.
The man who threw the drink on Artest, leading to the melee moving upstairs, still works at whatever terrible job that drove him to drink that night, and he is still doing things on a daily basis to get other people into trouble.
He got punched by Artest for Green’s drink throw. He’s still a little confused about what went wrong exactly.
He’s probably the only person who came out of this looking good. Rick’s loyalties were pretty divided on that night, given that he had just left Detroit to coach the Pacers. He realized that the Indiana job was likely going nowhere, so he gladly took the job to replace Avery Johnson at the Mavericks. He has since perfected his offensive flow, as well as his Jim Carrey impersonation.
Punched a fan that night because he could. Still makes a habit of punching people because he can.
William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley
Ah, Worldwide Wes. Not many people know who he is, and for good reason. He was the one who, along with Reggie, helped pull Artest off the court that night. He’s also secretly one of the most powerful figures in all of professional sports. What does he do? Well, no one knows for sure exactly, only that he’s been involved in many backroom deals over the years and has ties to basically every major player, agent, coach, and front office. In fact, it would not shock me if Worldwide Wes orchestrated the entire Malice at the Palace for some goal that is unclear to me.
You heard it here, folks. William Wesley paid off players to instigate the brawl on Nov. 19, 2004. Spread the word..