Hey everyone .
Here is an article I wrote on the brawl for my school newspaper. It is a sports editorial. To prepare for writing it I watched the fight again on youtube. I recommend not doing this, because it was very painful. It's written somewhat simple because I wanted to tell it like an anecdote so non-NBA fans could enjoy it. Here it is.
by Quinn Brown
December means three things to me: presents, big budget films, and NBA. Lots of NBA. Every sports fan’s dream is a championship run by their favorite team, and basketball is no different. As the season ticks on, I see this as an opportune time to reflect on a horrendous event of three years ago, one that crushed any chance I had of celebrating an NBA championship.
My favorite team is the Indiana Pacers. I’m not exactly sure what a “pacer” is, but our mascot is a big, blue cat who wears the team’s white and gold uniform and dunks by jumping off of trampolines, a feat typically expected of a mascot. The pride of the Pacers is now-retired Reggie Miller, precocious hotshot out of UCLA who is often referred to as the best three point shooter of all time. In the 2004-05 NBA season, Reggie’s game was still intact and the talented Pacers squad was mentioned among the league’s elite. A championship seemed inevitable. Then it happened.
November 19, 2004 - a date that, like Pearl Harbor and the day that I decided to cut my own hair, lives in infamy. The Pacers were playing the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan. Pacers superstar Ron Artest was shoved in the face by Piston Ben Wallace and reacted passively by humorously laying down on top of the scorer’s table. A cup of beer was thrown by a Pistons fan and hit Artest in the face, leading him to impulsively charge the stands. Havoc ensued as players fought fans, players fought players, drunken fans accidentally fought their friends, and Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley attempted to fight no one in particular with a giant metal dust pan. The “Malice at the Palace” was the most shocking television event of the 21st century (it has since been topped by FEMA doing nothing during Hurricane Katrina). I stared at my TV in disbelief as my Pacers were hauled off the court by security. Five Pacers players were suspended (Artest for the remainder of the season), while the Pistons suffered only one significant suspension of a measly six games. The player happened to be Ben Wallace, the one essentially responsible for starting it all (for proof, search “Pacers Pistons” on YouTube).
After the brawl, the Pacers’ dominance quickly faded. Artest once again became a loose cannon and was shipped to the Sacramento Kings, Reggie retired and many heartbroken fans became apathetic. I have spent the last three years of my life in denial, recreating the ‘04-05 Pacers team on basketball video games and adding myself, 5’8’’ point guard Quinn Brown, drafted out of high school, to the roster. After changing the difficulty to the easiest setting, I lead the Pacers to consecutive NBA championships.
Showing little resilience, the Pacers are currently regarded, somewhat inaccurately, as one of the worst teams in the NBA. But oh well, the Colts won the Super Bowl.