'Law and Order' episode draws on Pistons-Pacers melee
DETROIT (AP) — The brawl between Indiana Pacers players and Detroit Pistons fans was replayed countless times on sports shows and newscasts.
Now, the Nov. 19 melee at The Palace of Auburn Hills has inspired an episode of NBC-TV's fictional Law & Order.
Unlike the episode entitled "The Sixth Man," slated to air at 10 p.m. ET Wednesday, the most serious charge resulting from the Palace brawl is felonious assault — not murder. But up to that point, the show's plot closely follows actual events.
The star player for the fictional Philadelphia Cannons, Silas Enwood, lies down on the scorer's table during a game against the New York Empires. A fan, Ira Waldman, dumps beer on Enwood, who rushes into the stands with several teammates and fights with fans including Waldman.
After Waldman sues Enwood for $20 million, he is found dead of a broken neck. The Law & Order team jumps into action and Enwood goes on trial.
The show doesn't mention Detroit, the Pistons, the Pacers or Indiana's Ron Artest. The Nov. 19 fracas began after the All-Star lay on the scorer's table, had a beverage dumped on him and rushed into the stands with several teammates. Artest was suspended for the season and four teammates drew shorter suspensions; they and four Detroit fans are charged with misdemeanor assault and battery.
"We were aware of this episode," Pistons spokesman Kevin Grigg told The Detroit News for a Tuesday story. "But we're not going to comment on the content."
Another fan, 37-year-old Bryant Jackson, faces trial on a felonious assault charge for allegedly tossing a chair. But Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca said he wasn't concerned that the Law & Order episode could affect upcoming legal proceedings.
"If anything, I think it's going to bring up the incident again and show the negativity of violence in sports," Gorcyca said. "You know how they say the truth is stranger than fiction ... well, it sounds like this show is the video turned into fiction."
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