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On November 19, 2004, the NBA changed forever. It was the day the “Malice In The Palace,” the worst fight in the NBA’s history, happened. And it started off innocently enough – with a hard foul.

With 45.9 seconds left, Ron Artest, of the Indiana Pacers, fouled Detroit Piston center Ben Wallace. Now let’s put that foul into some context: the game was a rematch, of sorts, of the hard fought Eastern Conference finals of the previous year (which the Pistons won in six games.) So there was bad blood. The game they were playing was a blowout, with Pacers up 15 points at the time.

So, somewhat understandably, Ben Wallace was upset. And he exploded, pushing Artest hard. Players separated the two, and Ron laid on the scorer’s table.

And that’s when their things went haywire.

John Green, a fan in the stands, threw a cup of soda at Artest. Fuming, Artest then stormed the audience and manhandled Michael Ryan, a man he thought threw the cup.

Stephen Jackson, Artest’s teammate, ran in after him and started attacking another man, William Paulson, who he saw throw another drink at Artest. Players from the team went into the stands to fetch out Artest and Jackson, but things got worse when the two got to the court.

Fans, Alvin “A.J.” Shackleford and Charlie Haddad, approached Artest and the player punched Shackleford, while Artest’s teammate, Jermaine O’Neil, hit Haddad (dangerously.)

Players were eventually able to get off the court, as fans poured drinks and threw food on the players.

The penalties were stiff, and expedient. Nine players from the two teams were suspended. The harshest penalty went to Ron Artest, who was suspended for the rest of the season, losing close to $5 million in salary. Other notable suspicions: Jackson was suspended for 30 games; O’Neal got 15 games; and Wallace six games.

There were tangible changes in the league after the fight, including bans on alcohol after the third quarter and extra security on the sidelines.

But there were changes that went deeper and beyond the stadiums. The NBA felt like it needed to clean up the league, and you saw harsher penalties for any kind of on-court altercations. You also saw a ban of baggy clothes.

Today is the 10-year anniversary of the “Malice In The Palace.” So let’s look back at where the main players are now.

Where Are They Now: The Major Players Of The Malice In The Palace
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