The Pacers–Pistons brawl
was an altercation that occurred in a National Basketball Association
game between the Detroit Pistons
and Indiana Pacers
on November 19, 2004 at The Palace of Auburn Hills
in Auburn Hills
. With 45.9 seconds remaining in the game and Indiana leading 97–82, Piston center
/forward Ben Wallace
by Pacer forward Ron Artest
. Wallace responded by shoving Artest, which led to a physical confrontation between several players from both teams. During the argument, Artest laid down on the scorer's table while putting on a headset pretending to give an interview on the radio. When John Green, a spectator, threw a cup with beer at Artest and hit him in the chest, he responded by charging into the stands, which triggered a violent response from nearby spectators and involved Stephen Jackson
, who had also run into the stands. Another melee began when two fans confronted Artest on the court, which involved Jermaine O'Neal
when he punched one of the fans. At this point, the game were called off and the Pacers were awarded the win. Debris was thrown as Pacer players were escorted from the court. Nine spectators were injured, with two taken to the hospital.
The repercussions led to nine players being suspended without pay for a total of 146 games, (Artest was given the longest suspension ever levied for a fight during an NBA game, as he was suspended for a total of 86 games) which led to $10 million in salary being lost by the players. Five players were also charged with assault, and all five were eventually sentenced to a year on probation and community service. Five fans were also legally charged, and John Green, who threw the cup at Artest, received a lifetime ban from attending Pistons games. The fight also led the NBA to mandate increased security presence between players and fans, and to ban the sale of alcohol after the third quarter.