St. Petersburg Times
Online: Tech Times
Print storySubscribe to the Times


Brawl's impact lingers

By Associated Press
Published November 19, 2005

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Millions of dollars were lost, reputations were tainted and the NBA was shaken on Nov. 19, 2004, when the Pacers, Pistons and fans were involved in perhaps the worst brawl in U.S. sports history.

On the first anniversary, the ugly series of events and the aftermath are being rehashed and dissected.

Commissioner David Stern hopes lessons were learned.

"No. 1, players can't go into the stands. They need to leave that to security and not get into vigilantism," Stern told the Associated Press this week. "No. 2, fans have to be held accountable because they can't do anything they want just by virtue of buying a ticket. No. 3, we need to continue to review and update our procedures on security and crowd control."

Several players and fans lost control during a five-minute stretch on an unforgettable night at The Palace, just outside Detroit. Pistons chief executive Tom Wilson aptly described it as the perfect storm.

A shoving match started when Indiana's Ron Artest fouled Detroit's Ben Wallace with 45.9 seconds left in a game that was essentially over, with the Pacers leading by 15. Several players got involved and Artest wound up lying on the scorer's table.

Then a fan hit Artest with a cup filled with an icy beverage and Artest bolted into the stands in a rage, followed by fist-swinging teammate Stephen Jackson.

Artest and teammate Jermaine O'Neal later slugged fans on the court, and when the Pacers finally were able to get off the court, they were pelted with beer, popcorn and other debris.

Two days later, Stern suspended Artest for the rest of the season - 73 games, plus the playoffs - in a move that cost him almost $5-million.

"I think any person on the street would have done the same thing," Artest said last month. "I just learned that if somebody from the stands throws something at you, don't do anything back or you'll get suspended."

Overall, nine players were suspended. They lost nearly $10-million in salary.

Artest, Jackson, O'Neal and teammates Anthony Johnson and David Harrison were sentenced to a year of probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor assault charges.

In the wake of the brawl, Wilson said the league mandated teams add one uniformed police officer near the court, putting three of them between players and fans.

MARBURY SUIT: Knicks star Stephon Marbury was sued for $34,000 by a security firm led by a former New York City police commissioner. The firm, SafirRosetti LLC, contends it provided security for Marbury in January 2004, for $42,312. Court papers say the player paid $8,000.

DIVAC CLEARED: Prosecutors dropped charges of draft dodging against former NBA star Vlade Divac in his native Serbia.

Friday's games

PISTONS 78, ROCKETS 70: Richard Hamilton scored 19 for visiting Detroit, which matched its best start since its first championship season.

Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace added 14 points apiece for the Pistons, 8-0 for the first time since 1988-89 when they won the first of back-to-back NBA titles. If Detroit wins tonight at Dallas the Pistons will match the 1970-71 squad for the best start in franchise history.

Yao Ming scored 20 to lead the Rockets, who were 27-of-70 (38.6 percent) from the field and committed 19 turnovers.

HEAT 106, 76ERS 96: Dwyane Wade came within a rebound of a triple double, scoring a season-high 32 to help host Miami end Philadelphia's six-game winning streak. Philadelphia's Allen Iverson, the league scoring leader, scored 33 but took only nine shots in the second half. Heat guard Jason Williams (bruised right knee) didn't dress.

PACERS 93, BOBCATS 85: After sitting out the first half, Sarunas Jasikevicius, a 29-year-old rookie from Lithuania, scored 14 for the host Pacers. Jasikevicius entered as the Pacers' third point guard and went 6-of-6 from the free-throw line in the final 2 minutes.

HORNETS 95, HAWKS 92: Rookie Chris Paul scored 25, including five late free throws, as New Orleans won in Oklahoma City. Salim Stoudamire, who scored 30 to lead Atlanta, missed a 3-pointer from near half court that would have forced overtime. Atlanta (0-9) is off to its worst start.

CELTICS 100, RAPTORS 93: Ricky Davis and Paul Pierce each scored 26 for host Boston. Toronto, at 0-9, remained one of the league's two winless teams.

NUGGETS 95, KNICKS 86: Carmelo Anthony took over in the third quarter and finished with 25 points for host Denver. Anthony scored 12 in the third to help Denver turn a one-point deficit into a double-digit lead.

SUNS 102, JAZZ 94: Eddie House made 7-of-11 3-pointers en route to a career-high 31 points for host Phoenix, which handed Utah its fourth straight loss. The Suns, blew the game open with a 19-4 outburst late in the third and into the fourth.

WARRIORS 91, BLAZERS 80: Jason Richardson had 28 points and seven rebounds and Baron Davis had 16 points and 11 assists for visiting Golden State.

KINGS 103, BUCKS 82: Peja Stojakovic scored 19 and Mike Bibby 17 for host Sacramento, which never trailed and has consecutive wins for the first time this season.

SONICS 98, BULLS 84: Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen scored 27 apiece for host Seattle, which outscored Chicago 65-40 in the second half after trailing by 11 at halftime.

[Last modified November 19, 2005, 01:15:04]

  • Bulls remain on course for BCS berth

  • Baseball
  • Vision clear, Cameron traded to San Diego

  • College basketball
  • Gators at 4-0 with title win
  • Bulls get win, lose player
  • Men: Gonzaga is tested in opening victory
  • Women: Peck hits the century mark in Gators' win
  • FSU basketball glance
  • FSU welcomes back center
  • Green Devils in transition

  • College football
  • A defensive menace ... Amen
  • Gameday
  • Scouting reports

  • Colleges
  • USF moves on in NCAA soccer 3-0 over Stetson

  • Golf
  • Duval, Woods lurk as Furyk takes lead

  • In brief
  • Gaudio savors victory, but faces Federer next

  • Motorsports
  • On the final lap
  • Gibbs' son keeps team at top
  • Spin does no harm to Stewart

  • NBA
  • Brawl's impact lingers
  • Cavaliers unlock Magic's defense

  • NFL
  • Packers WR reinjured after one day back

  • NHL
  • Habby beats Flames again

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • Parimutuels
  • Magic City's wins the stuff Dreams made of

  • Preps
  • Boys basketball preview: 6A-7
  • 'Miracle' saves Packers
  • Armwood passes stiff test
  • Barons fall short by inches
  • CCC completes wild comeback
  • Cobras making history
  • Offense falls flat for Dixie Hollins
  • Riverview runs out of comebacks, 28-7
  • Senior's recovery seals victory
  • Seven turnovers tell the tale for unlucky Chamberlain
  • Wharton comeback not quite enough
  • Winter Haven cancels Dragons' reservations
  • Rays
  • Hamilton stays property of Rays
  • Bucs
  • A grab for elusive spotlight
  • Injured Bucs safety hopeful on status
  • Lightning
  • Rookie gets noticed by Tortorella

    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111