An on-court incident escalates into a chaotic brawl in the stands.
By Associated Press
Published November 20, 2004
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - An all-out brawl erupted near the end of the Indiana Pacers victory over Detroit on Friday night, one that will result in long-term suspensions and possible arrests for some of the Pacers.
Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson rushed into the stands to confront fans who were drenching the Pacers with beverages with 45.9 seconds left in their 97-82 victory over the Pistons.
Chaos reigned as Jackson, Artest and Jermaine O'Neal struck fans.
Play was suspended while security personnel struggled to restore order, and both teams eventually headed to the locker rooms. The Pacers were drenched and pelted by fans as they passed through the tunnel, and more confrontations erupted as fans attacked the players.
"That was the ugliest thing I've ever seen in my life as a coach or player," the Pistons Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown said.
The incident began when Artest gave a hard foul to Pistons center Ben Wallace after the Pacers had clinched a victory.
"I felt like I was fighting for my life out there," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said.
No arrests were made after the game, and the Pacers traveling party boarded the bus for the airport. Police officials said players will be extradited if assault charges are filed.