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Thread: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

  1. #1
    DIET COKE! Trader Joe's Avatar
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    Default An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...-malice-palace

    It's long, but it's a must read....wow.

    I'll just copy this one bit

    O'Neal: I don't know if I could ever apologize to the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana for that enough. I don't know if there's enough apologies in the world to give to that city. That city meant a lot to me. It still means a lot to me. For them to go through what they went through on a national scene and the embarrassment it brought to the city and my community and my organization, I apologize for. If there's anything you can get across, please get that across. I don't know if people understand that the people that were there from that regime, from the brawl, could not shake it. We couldn't shake that whole thing. It seemed like the team was fractured.

    “WE NEVER SURRENDER, WE NEVER GIVE UP, WE KEEP ATTACKING”- Frank Vogel
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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    Just finished reading this...damn that was a good team. :-(

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    I just finished reading it myself and was coming to share it if someone else had not already.

    Absolutely must-read for any of us who were around back then to watch and react to that. I know a lot about it, but I learned new things (people who were there that I didn't realize, what happened in the locker room immediately afterwards, miscellaneous other details) and there were a lot of reflective quotes from many of the people involved that night.

    The article I felt could have been a little better in terms of including some other facts (thinking right now of other issues that hurt the Pacers after the brawl; like Tinsley's off court stuff, and then also neglecting to mention Roy as one of our new bright spots), but it's mostly good stuff.

    I felt a little emotional by the time I got done reading it. We're STILL feeling the repercussions of that damned thing.

    I almost wish I had taken notes because at various points I wanted to stop and write commentary about it on here.

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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    I found it interesting that the guy who Jermaine punched was previously banned from the arena and security had asked him to leave at halftime. Did not know that. Pretty good article, but honestly, I hope it doesn't become a BIG article. The Pacers are finally past all that mess and it is just going to open up old wounds.


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    Chairman of the Boards 90'sNBARocked's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    Always ALWAYS will remember how Stern punked the *** out of us

    Ben Wallace started it, but got the least suspension of all parties involved

    Yeah Ron was in the worng but so was the NBA, I really thought we might go to the finals that year. The we panicked and over reacted the following year and it was downhill until this year
    Sittin on top of the world!

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    Member BPump33's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    Such a great read. I just had a small back and forth with the author on Twitter. He had this to say:

    Jonathan Abrams ‏ @Jpdabrams
    @BPump33 hopefully JO's last quote means a great deal to you

    When I read JO's quote, I honestly almost teared up. A change was absolutely needed and getting Roy made the deal even better, but what a classy thing for JO to say.
    Passion. Pride. Patience. Pacers

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    Member MTM's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    I just mentioned this article in the post-game thread for the game last night.

    Reading that article made me compare the character/mental stability of the guys on this team against the guys on that team. That team was SO talented - probably the most confident I have ever been at the beginning of a season that we would be playing in the finals. But that team lacked character/mental stability with a couple of its leaders, and that was the downfall.

    Comparing players from that team to this team, by the way Tyler plays on the court, and his reputation as "Psycho T", Tyler would be one of the first guys you might think would be crazy enough to lose it during a game. However, watching him for the past couple years has really made me grow to appreciate his character. He certainly plays more "rugged" and at times, out of control, than any other player on our team. He dishes out more elbows, pushes, shoves, runs guys over, and generally plays like a tornado. (Not all that different to the Ron Artest style).

    However, when the whistle blows, Tyler typically keeps his mouth shut and stops the action. He keeps his hard-nosed efforts between the lines and quits when the echo of the whistle is over. I respect him for it. It would be tough to be a guy who hits, and gets hit, as much as he does, to keep his cool. But he generally does. I really respect it and don't miss the chirping of Stephen Jackson / Jermaine O'Neal / Scott Pollard, who weren't as rugged but found ways to get into arguments with officials and players on a regular basis. And I don't miss the Ron-Ron who wrecked the franchise.

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    Denim Chicken duke dynamite's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    I haven't read it just yet. I saw Mike Wells post the link earlier today but I was busy. After seeing your thoughts/comments, I cannot wait to read it.

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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but I thought I'd share anyway. From the day of the brawl until an hour ago I have ALWAYS blamed Ben Wallace. Always. To me, he was absolutely scum. The article changed that quite a bit. To see that Ron went after him for the sole purpose of delivering a cheap shot AND it was pre-meditated makes me a little sick. I always assumed the foul was just Ron being Ron and playing the whole 48 minutes.

    I still think Wallace overreacted, but I understand his frustration a little more now. A lot of people did A LOT of things wrong that night, but I will no longer solely blame Ben Wallace. It was probably stupid that I did, anyway.
    Last edited by BPump33; 02-29-2012 at 12:03 PM.
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    Artificial Intelligence wintermute's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    This section sums it up for me:

    Olko: I got asked questions like how many investigators I had on it. Well, one. We were dealing with other things going on in the community. Where should I invest my resources? On the millionaires with misdemeanor cases?

    McCosky: The coverage of it went on for months, and you would think people actually died or whatnot. People kind of lost sight of how it started and who was actually involved and who was a peacemaker. It just became another ugly mark on Detroit.

    O'Neal: [Everyone] decided to talk about the negative things. I honestly believe that's why the dress code came into play. Because all of a sudden now the league is "out of control." I watched the analysts, the so-called analysts, on national TV say the NBA is too hip-hoppish. And it really blew me away that supposed analysts would even first of all say that. Your choice of music doesn't dictate who you are as a person. Right after the brawl, the dress code came into play.

    Olko: One surprising thing that happened was how much flak we got from the public. People from Detroit were angry that we didn't arrest the Pacers. Indianapolis people said we only prosecuted Pacer players because we were partial to the Detroit team — which is just goofy. Again, misdemeanor assaults.

    Ham: I think [the media] twisted it. Out-of-control NBA players were at the forefront of the story as opposed to fan behavior. [Fans] talk about a player can't shoot or can't dribble, that's one thing. But I've seen things in the past when fans start talking about a player's kids, their wives — to even cross the line furthermore, to throw something, I don't think that particular part of the story was addressed properly or as extensive as these "wild black guys playing in the NBA." It's unfortunate, but that's the society we live in.
    Olko is the Detroit police guy; McClosky is a Detroit journalist.

    The thing that amazed me (and still does) is how it turned into such a big deal. How the Pacers suddenly became painted as villains, as the embodiment of everything's that's wrong in society.

    I'm not saying our guys were angels - Artest, Sjax, J.O. all did wrong - but their crimes were basically at a bar-room brawl level, escalated into a public spectacle thanks to the lack of crowd control and the presence of TV cameras.

    Frankly, it seems like the Pacers' real crime was in damaging the NBA's carefully cultivated public image, and that's why the hammer came down disproportionately on our side.

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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    Massive failure by Detroit and the NBA. They were on the same level as the Pacers and even the fans in this case. How do you not have proper security for a team based in Detroit, and how do the refs let this get out of control to the extent where Wallace and Artest were in a cheapshot contest? Pathetic.

    Amazing story, a must read for any NBA fan.

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    Member Ace E.Anderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    You almost forget how good/dominant of a team that Pacer team was. You look at some of those guys now, J.O (old and broken down) World Peace (avg 4 ppg) Tinsley (can't get off the bench behind Harris and Watson) and it just makes you think. What would have happened if this never took place? Where would that team have gone? Would we win a championship? How many? SO many lives and careers were forever changed on that day.

    And I still remember it like it were yesterday....

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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    The immaturity is on full display. Saying you know how wrong it is to be involved in something like that, but then saying you don't know what you would do if it happened again is shocking.

    Just so focused on whether or not going into the stands was the right course of action, misses the much bigger problem of being able to keep your head in the moment.

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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    I'm glad someone (maybe Boyle) brought up the fact that it wasn't the brawl that set the Pacers back, it was Ron demanding a trade. I think that is what really pissed everyone off, I know it did for me. I stood behind Ron until he demanded a trade, but once he did, I was soooo pissed.


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    Running with the Big Boys BillS's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    An excellent article, but boy am I depressed now.
    BillS

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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    I remember where I watched that game.

    As a longtime fan going back to the ABA, I remember thinking that the suspensions would be much shorter. And in the aftermath, I remember the estimates from the pundits, from low to high. Stern's suspensions were harsher than the highest estimates by a lot. They were unprecedented.

    And all the pundits nodded in approval after they were announced. It didn't matter if the the punishment was double their prediction.

    I will always believe that the punishment was about image, and that image was partially about race.

    In the end, a commissioner like Stern is charged with protecting the bottom line. Money. Not justice. I don't even blame him for doing so and trying to fig leaf it with justice. He's not a judge in a court of law.

    But I remain irritated that the media laid down on it. Weak sauce.

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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    I haven't read Jackson's statements earlier. If he really means what he said then I have a new respect for him.

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    Eating some cranbaisins The Sleeze's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    Jackson: I knew we had to get out of this arena before all these guys in the nosebleed seats got down to our section. That's the felons, the guys that really don't care about losing anything. If they come down there, somebody's going to really get hurt
    This part made me laugh, and then I remembered how good that team could have been....damn.

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  32. #19
    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    Quote Originally Posted by BPump33 View Post
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    This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but I thought I'd share anyway. From the day of the brawl until an hour ago I have ALWAYS blamed Ben Wallace. Always. To me, he was absolutely scum. The article changed that quite a bit. To see that Ron went after him for the sole purpose of delivering a cheap shot AND it was pre-meditated makes me a little sick. I always assumed the foul was just Ron being Ron and playing the whole 48 minutes.

    I still think Wallace overreacted, but I understand his frustration a little more now. A lot of people did A LOT of things wrong that night, but I will no longer solely blame Ben Wallace. It was probably stupid that I did, anyway.
    Not to mention he just had a brother of his die a couple of days earlier.

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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    The immaturity is on full display. Saying you know how wrong it is to be involved in something like that, but then saying you don't know what you would do if it happened again is shocking.

    Just so focused on whether or not going into the stands was the right course of action, misses the much bigger problem of being able to keep your head in the moment.
    At the risk of opening the can of worms that was PD after the incident, I think anyone who has been in one of those split-second fight-or-flight decision situations understands that you can intellectualize all you want and HOPE you will react properly the next time, but you really don't KNOW how you will react. When the "monkey brain" takes over you are by definition trying to survive the situation, not thinking about what to do.

    It is why emergency crews are trained to the point of reflex. Basketball players and fans are not.
    BillS

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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Not to mention he just had a brother of his die a couple of days earlier.
    Agreed. I was surprised to read that Jackson and Wallace now go out of their way to shake hands. It sounds like Jackson still holds a grudge with Ron over the trade request.
    Passion. Pride. Patience. Pacers

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  38. #22
    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    Quote Originally Posted by PacersCenter View Post
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    I'm glad someone (maybe Boyle) brought up the fact that it wasn't the brawl that set the Pacers back, it was Ron demanding a trade. I think that is what really pissed everyone off, I know it did for me. I stood behind Ron until he demanded a trade, but once he did, I was soooo pissed.
    I still completely disagree with anyone who thinks the brawl didn't set the Pacers back. It ABSOLUTELY did. Case in point: Why do you think Ron demanded a trade? The fallout of that night is absolutely at least one big part of the reason why Artest did that. It's not just what happened that night, it's the MOUNTAIN OF FALLOUT AND CONSEQUENCES; THE DOMINO EFFECT that set the Pacers back.

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    Yeah, I'm a Pacers fan. MyFavMartin's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    The night it happened the crew covering it on ESPN was defensive of the player's reactions and sided with them.

    Next day, complete flip-flop.

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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    At the risk of opening the can of worms that was PD after the incident, I think anyone who has been in one of those split-second fight-or-flight decision situations understands that you can intellectualize all you want and HOPE you will react properly the next time, but you really don't KNOW how you will react. When the "monkey brain" takes over you are by definition trying to survive the situation, not thinking about what to do.

    It is why emergency crews are trained to the point of reflex. Basketball players and fans are not.
    I've been in plenty of situations where stuff like this goes on. I've had a gun pulled on me. My reaction then was pretty stupid, and I fully acknowledge that I've lost my temper a few times in the heat of the moment.


    But at the same time, when Jax uses this as an example of how good of a teammate he is, it makes you stratch your head. He shouldn't be glorifying the situation. Should be extremely embarassed, instead of patting himself on the back.

    Another example would be how someone talked about how the passed the Pistons family room, where people are laughing about how Ben's brother missing the punch on Fred Jones.

    It's disgusting.

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    Default Re: An Oral History of the Malice in the Palace

    Quote Originally Posted by MyFavMartin View Post
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    The night it happened the crew covering it on ESPN was defensive of the player's reactions and sided with them.

    Next day, complete flip-flop.
    That still angers me to this day.
    Passion. Pride. Patience. Pacers

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