Stephen Jackson: ‘It felt good to punch a fan one time’
Stephen Jackson earned a 30-game suspension and a heavy fine for his role in the 2004 player-fan melee known as “The Malice in the Palace.” Appearing on ESPN’s Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable, Jackson admitted that he hated being fined $3 million by the NBA, but enjoyed punching a fan who threw a beer at Pacers teammate Ron Artest during the brawl at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
“All the racial slurs I done heard,” he explained. “All the things I heard about my mom, and my basketball game and my kids, all this. It felt good to punch a fan one time.”
Jackson’s “Malice in the Palace” comments begin at the 3:45 mark:
The infamous brawl began when Pistons center Ben Wallace retaliated after a hard foul by Artest, then escalated when players from both teams entered the stands to confront spectators.
Jackson also recalled that Artest asked him an unforgetable question in the post-fight locker room: “Do you think we’re going to get in trouble?”
Artest ended up being fined almost $5 million and was suspended 86 games.