One of the most important nights in sports history was November 19, 2004. It had long been expected to be a great showdown–a first meeting since a brutal playoff series the previous spring. But the Pacers put on a show and had a good size lead late in the 4th quarter. We almost left…thousands did.
From our spots in the very last row of the upper deck (technically they were courtside because we were sitting right across from the Pacers bench just slightly elevated) we saw the complexion of sports change in America (the next day there were two brawls among college football rivals also).
While we have seen the short clips from television, it is hard to describe the real melee that occurred that night. It was 10-15 minutes of true chaos. I remember standing there and then noticing my jaw was hanging open in disbelief.
I had the same response this week when Artest, as part of his court-ordered community service, visited Detroit school children and impudently declared, “Someone started trouble and I ended it.” In a radio interview last week he intimated that the whole fiasco was not a mistake.
I’m not sure if he misses the 5.5 million he lost that season or if he is aware that he wasn’t allowed to play for the remainder of the season, but please, please admit that it was a mistake to go charging into the stands!