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Netflix’s ‘Untold: Malice at the Palace’ Gathers All Those Involved for a Revelatory Look Back (Watch)

ron artest - malice at the palace
Ron Artist – Netflix’s “Untold: Malice at the Palace”

*The new documentary “Untold: Malice at the Palace” takes a thorough look back at the historic, violent, unprecedented brawl that broke out between players on the Indiana Pacers, and fans inside The Palace at Auburn Hills, home of the Detroit Pistons.

The film goes through the biographical backgrounds of involved Pacers players Ron Artest, Jermaine O’Neal and Stephen Jackson, takes us meticulously through the pivotal moments leading up to the brawl, points out the racial aspects of its aftermath and how the brawl ended up changing the league, the fans, the players – and the path forward for the Pacers.

“It’s hard to explain to people from suburban America,” Metta World Peace (formerly Artest) says as he sits on a leather couch in the documentary. “I want the story out there. Like what happened frame by frame.”

He and O’Neal make it clear in the film that the total footage of the brawl was never shown, just edited versions on network television. O’Neal says that viewing the footage in its entirety would make it clear that the Pacers were simply protecting themselves from fans that had gotten completely out of control.

In a nutshell, the brawl was rooted in Artest’s unnecessary hard foul against the Pistons’ Ben Wallace in the fourth quarter, after it was obvious the Pacers were going to win. Wallace shoved Artest then continued after him as players and coaches from both teams ran onto the court. Meanwhile, Artest decided to step away from the fray and lay across the scorer’s table. In the documentary, he explained that he had been in therapy and had learned to step away from conflict.

That’s when a fan threw a beer can at Artest, prompting him to jump off the table and into the stands after the person who threw it. He grabbed the wrong fan and began throwing blows, which prompted fans near by to jump in. Stephen Jackson saw Artest in trouble and ran to the scrum, grabbing fans off of his teammate and throwing his own punches.

That brawl was eventually separated, but when Artest returned to the court, another fan in a Piston jersey was waiting for him with fists balled. Artist punched him first, sparking yet another brawl on the floor. This one saw O’Neal fly into the fray with a punch to the fan that, had it landed squarely, would’ve have likely knocked the fan out cold.

When O’Neal got home, he stayed up all night watching the coverage as analysts labeled the team as “thugs,” called them “hooligans” and “players with no self-control or respect.”

Reggie Miller, also featured in the documentary, explains how the brawl factored into his decision to retire the following season, without ever getting a championship ring. This was something that weighed heavily on O’Neal, who expressed his regret over the brawl itself, as well as the role it played in Miller’s retirement.

“I’ve never really tried to use the word regret but it’s a part of me that has always bothered me,” he said of the brawl. “I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I just wanted to move on with my life. I’ve never been able to get away from it though.”

Watch the trailer and highlights from Netflix’s “Untold: Malice at the Palace” below:

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