By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In the history of fights in professional sports, 2004’s “Malice At The Palace,” a fight between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers ended with members of the Pacers in the stands, fighting with fans, sits as one of the darkest black marks. The result was nine players suspended, for a total of 146 games.
Two of the most notable participants in the fight were then Pacers players Stephen Jackson and Metta World Peace (then Ron Artest). As it turns out, Stephen Jackson doesn’t remember the fight as all bad.
“Well let me say this. All the racial slurs, all the things I’ve heard, all the things I’ve heard about my mom and my basketball game and my kids, and all this, it felt good to punch a fan one time,” Jackson told ESPN’s Dan Le Batard. Jackson laughed as he recounted the story of during, and after the brawl. “I’m not going to lie. I regret it, because I lost three million dollars and I almost lost my job. And I regret it, but when I initially went into the stands, I went in there to help Ron, if you look at the tape. I go up to a row above Ron, because I was trying to grab him. Well as I got up there to grab him, another fan threw another beer in his face. I felt like he got assaulted at the time, so if you’re up here, you should be breaking it up. But if you throw a beer, you deserve a lick too. He got it.”
Jackson knew immediately that the ramifications of the fight would be serious, but Artest did not.
“I don’t think [Artest] was thinking at the time,” Jackson said. “Me and Jamaal Tinsley every time I see him we laugh at this. Right after the brawl, we’re in the locker room. And this is why I said [Artest] never said ‘thanks.’ So we’re in the locker room, legs all scratched up from hopping over the bleachers, our adrenaline pumping, we laid a couple people out, like we did something, know what I mean? We all sit back, and Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace, leans back and looks at Jamaal Tinsley and asks us, ‘do you think we’re going to get in trouble?’ I said ‘Ron, in trouble?! We’re lucky if we still have a job!’ That was the funniest thing ever. Trouble? We’re lucky we have a job Ron.”
Jackson was having a good time during the interview, obviously having fun and was very candid, but did not appear to be ‘kidding.’
Jackson is a free agent, after spending the season with the San Antonio Spurs and was released before the playoffs begun.
Watch the full interview: