November 19 - 2004 - The Malice at the Palace
Going into the 2004-2005 National Basketball Association, the two best teams in the Eastern Conference were the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons. Their first game at the Pistons' home arena The Palace of Auburn Hills would become famous, but not for the basketball. The Pacers controlled the game for most of the contest, and held a 97-82 lead with 45.9 seconds. At that point, Indiana's Ron Artest fouled Detroit's Ben Wallace by hitting him in the back of the head. Wallace responded by shoving Artest, which led to the benches clearing and a tussle happening. This was an unexceptional event in many ways. Then Ron Artest went to lay down on the scorers' table, in front of the radio broadcasters for the Pacers. While laying there, Artest was hit by a flying cup of Diet Coke. Immediately, Artest leapt into the stands, attacking the fan he thought had thrown the cup. He was actually mistaken. Artest would be joined by teammate Stephen Jackson. Jackson would then be followed my multiple players, although they were trying to pull back Artest and Jackson. As fans stormed the court and chaos ensued, the game was cancelled. Multiple players would be suspended in the aftermath, including Ron Artest being banned for the season, and security at NBA arenas was drastically changed.