It’s been seventeen years since the Malice at the Palace took place between the Detriot Pistons and Indiana Pacers. The Untold Story of the event premiered on Netflix last week, which Indiana Pacers’ legend Jermaine O’Neal produced.
During a recent interview with the Breakfast Club, former Pacers’ guard Stephen Jackson explained the whole thing.
“We were playing the Detroit Pistons, and that this was my first year on the team [Indiana Pacers]. They had a big battle in the eastern conference finals, but we were the team to be this year, and this was the game to make this statement that we were going for a championship. We ended up blowing them out; I think we were up like 15 or 20 points, with 45 seconds left, and we were at the free-throw line. I guess Ron owed Ben Wallace a foul from the previous Eastern Conference Finals. I was not on the team, so I did not understand the beef,” said Jackson.
Former Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley was the instigator, and he put the battery into Artest back to get back at Ben Wallace.
“Somebody put a battery in his back, and he ended up fouling Ben after he shot a free throw. I heard them say that, so I ran back and guarded Ben so that Ron would foul him. So, we could get out of here. Make our claim that we are coming for the championship and everything cool, but Ron still found a way to foul him while I was guarding him. At that time, Ben just lost a family member, and not many people knew that. So, he wasn’t supposed to play that game.”
So, what everybody wants to know is the root of the beef between Artest and Wallace?
In a recent interview with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Bally Sports, Artest reveals what caused Wallace’s friction.
“Me and Ben Wallace had a different beef,” said Artest.
“I wanted to be the best defender, and so that’s it. Who was the BEST defender in the world, me or you? That’s it. I don’t have any beef with him.”
Earlier this year, Wallace opened up about the Brawl in an interview with the Detriot Free Press.
“The Pacers were beating us pretty good and it was near the end of the game when Artest drove to the basket for a layup and I blocked the shot. I overheard him tell the official that he missed the call and said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll get him back.’ I grew up that when someone said they’re going to get you, then it’s on, you have to be prepared to handle your business. I then went for a layup and he fouled me hard and was trying to pay me back,” said Wallace.
“I reacted and pushed him and the arena was pretty charged. When that fan threw a drink on Ron, it was very disrespectful, and then things really got of hand when he went into the stands after that guy. Things happen so fast and you just react. You never want to see things spill into the stands and have your fans get involved. We all took our punishment and fortunately, no one got seriously hurt. But I always admired the way Ron Artest played the game and the energy he played with on the defensive end. There was no real beef between us, it was just something that happened.”