When discussing the craziest interactions between fans and National Basketball Association players, there is only one place to begin and that is the ‘Malice at the Palace’.
The incident occurred in an NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and the defending champions Detroit Pistons in November 2002. The Pacers were leading 97–82 and there was just 45.9 seconds left in the game, meaning it was over as a contest and there was only going to be one winner. In normal circumstances, the game would just drift to an end, with the Pacers claiming the victory and both teams would move on. However, that was far from the case in this game and when Pistons center Ben Wallace was fouled during a layup shot from behind by Pacers forward Ron Artest, no one could have predicted what was about to happen next.
Wallace, despite knowing the game was in the bag, pushed Artest and this led to a fight on the court between players of both teams. Just as the altercation had simmered down, a fan threw a drink at Artest while he was lying on the scorer’s table. All he was doing was giving himself some time to compose himself following the fight but that quickly changed as Artest flipped and chased after the fan.
What was initially a fight between the two groups of players now turned into a brawl between the players and spectators. The fight went on for several minutes as the action took place both in the seats and on the court. This led the referees to call time on the game despite the fact there were seconds remaining on the clock.
Following the incident, the NBA suspended nine players for a total of 146 games. Five players were charged with assault, and this led to a year of probation and community service. The fans did not get away without punishment and five of them were also facing charges of assault plus banned from Pistons home games for life. Pacers coach Rick Carlisle perhaps summed up the interaction best when he said, “I felt like I was fighting for my life out there.”
It is unlikely we are ever going to see an incident like this again in the NBA and that would clearly be a good thing for the sport. Instead, fans should be focusing on supporting their team and for those interested in having a wager on their favorite NBA team at the bookies or would like to enjoy playing casino games, you can see which are available at mobileuscasinos. Here you will find detailed reviews of the best online casinos available across the United States, including New Jersey and many more.
Changing the mood and one of the more positive interactions between a fan and NBA players came in the game between Phoenix Sun and the New York Knicks. During the second quarter of the game, Suns fan Tim Boven hit a halfcourt shot to win $77,777. Boven was running around the court, high-fiving the officials working at the game before making his way back to half court. To his surprise, he was then greeted by the Suns’ team who celebrated with him, including the trademark jumping in the air and bumping into one another.
Finally, to a more light-hearted moment involving LeBron James. In a game against Oklahoma City Thunder, LeBron scored 44 points plus seven rebounds, six assists, and four steals. However, we can add an additional one to the steal column for an off-court incident with a fan following a layup. Having stolen the ball from the opposition, LeBron made the shot but stumbled toward the front row of the crowd. Before making his way back onto the court, LeBron helped himself to a fry from a fan and delivered a high-five in a nice moment between player and supporter.