It’s been a decade since the NBA’s lowest moment
Ben Wallace caught the pass from Richard Hamilton, swiveled off his pivot foot and headed straight for the basket. Ron Artest–he didn’t change his name to Metta World Peace until years after–was waiting for Wallace under the basket with a hard foul, the type of foul that would sent a large majority of NBA players to the ground. However, Wallace regained his balance, and charged straight at Artest, who he shoved extremely hard, and a brawl ensued. A player’s brawl at first, but 15 minutes later, Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson had fought with several fans, Jermaine O’Neal had to be dragged off the court, and the entire arena had entered a state of complete mayhem. Ron Artest was suspended for the remainder of the season, and Stephen Jackson sat out 30 regular season games. Jermaine O’Neal ended up missing 15 games, a lucky break for him considering he was initially expected to be out for 25. Ron Artest’s reputation for being a pesky, harass-happy defender escalated to a reputation of being the league’s primary public enemy. He would later change his name to Metta World Peace in a feeble attempt to change his image, but nothing will ever be able to erase the fateful events of November 19th, 2004. In case you’ve never seen the mayhem, we’ve included the national television footage of it above.
9 players were suspended and fined in connection with the all-out brawl, and below, we took a quick look at the 4 major participants to get a snapshot of where they are now.
Metta World Peace (Ron Artest): World Peace was waived by the Knicks in February this year, and signed a contract to play with a Chinese Basketball Association team, the Sichuan Blue Whales. In his last season with the Knicks, he averaged 5 points and 2 rebounds per game.
Stephen Jackson: Jackson was waived by the Clippers in January of this year after playing 9 games for them last season, in which he averaged 1.7 points per game.
Jermaine O’Neal: Up until last season, O’Neal was effective on a consistent basis, averaging 8 points and 6 rebounds in 44 games for the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately, in May he suffered an injury during a playoff game, and has yet to return to action.
Ben Wallace: Wallace retired from the NBA following the conclusion of the 2011-2012 season as a member of the Pistons, the team he was on when he was considered to be the NBA’s most feared defender. However, his life after the league hasn’t been as glamorous. In March of this year, Wallace was sentenced to a year in jail after being charged with leaving the scene of an accident. The accident in question happened in February of 2014.