Suns’ Josh Jackson says he threw a water bottle at ‘Malice at the Palace’
In a November 2004 game between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan, one of the most famous brawls in sports history broke out as bedlam erupted and fans got involved.
Players were fined and suspensions were handed out.
Suns forward Josh Jackson, a young boy at the time, was in the stands, and he told about his experience there in a post for The Undefeated with Marc Spears.
I was 8 years old. I was kind of sitting right at midcourt about 20 rows up. I remember seeing so many people everywhere fighting. I remember [then-Indiana Pacers forward] Jermaine O’Neal getting hit with a chair. That was one of my most vivid memories. I remember Ron Artest laying on the scorer’s table and someone throwing a drink on him.
I was looking around and everyone was throwing something onto the court. I am not going to lie. I threw a water bottle. Why? It’s my home team. I’m a Pistons fan. What? The Pacers came in here throwing punches on my favorite players. I couldn’t have that. But that is neither here nor there.
I didn’t know what to think or what to do. My parents were protecting me, standing over me. There was nothing we could really do. I wasn’t scared. I didn’t feel like anyone was going to attack me.
We didn’t leave until after Jermaine O’Neal was hit with the chair. Things were pretty calm after that. They got it under control. At the time, I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was. A few days later, I saw the suspension and how much everybody got fined. That was when I was like, ‘This is crazy.’
Jackson went on to explain that he grew up a Pistons fan, and he even served as a ball boy multiple times at Pistons games, as his dad had a connection with the team’s trainers.
It was in that time he met Rip Hamilton, who was a guard for the Pistons for nine seasons, and Jackson and Hamilton still keep in touch today.
I keep up with Rip through Instagram. The best advice he has given me is to be myself and come out and play my game. There were a lot of times last season where he thought I was coming out being a little nervous or a little timid. Just do what got me here.
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