What if the Malice at the Palace never happened?

There's not really a ton you can say about this one. When you watch the clip above it's pretty much everything David Stern doesn't want happening. In this early season game, the man formely known as Ron Artest got into an altercation with Pistons big man Ben Wallace. As Artest was laying down on the scorer's table a beer was thrown on him and all hell broke loose. As a result of the melee, nine players were suspended for a total of 146 games. Not only was the Pacers season ruined, but the team itself was blown up because of it. At that point, Indiana was a beast in the East with title hopes. They had won 61 games the year before.

What could've been: Had the brawl not ensued, we'd fully expect Indiana to get a shot at the title. After that year, however, with the same nucleus intact, Indiana could've made several deep playoff runs with their team and a lack of long standing East powerhouses. Metta World Peace would've still been Ron Artest and he would go down as one of the best defensive players ever with multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards. And more importantly, the NBA wouldn't be as soft as it is now.

Stay Connected with
Complex Sports
blog comments powered by Disqus