Many NBA fans remember the infamous Malice at the Palace as a smear on the reputation of the league. This 2004 brawl during an early season game between the Indiana Pacers and the defending champion Detroit Pistons led to nine players being suspended for a cumulative 146 games, five players being charged with assault and five fans facing criminal charges and lifetime bans from Pistons' home games, but the most memorable highlight of the incident is the image of Ron Artest (ironically enough now named Metta World Peace), charging up into the stands after a fan, John Green threw beer at him.
Some might expect that bad blood would exist for Artest, who is known for his hard physical defense and anger management issues. Shockingly however former teammate Stephen Jackson revealed on ESPN's “The Jump” that Artest and Green have formed a lasting friendship, and continue to talk daily. The pair first publicized their friendship in a radio interview five years after the incident. According to Green, Artest reached out to him following the advice of Artest’s psychiatrist and the friendship has blossomed since.
It is good to see that no lasting grudge has emerged between these two, and that Metta World Peace can create friendships out of hostile environments. As Jackson says about the unlikely friendship, “Ron’s that type of guy though, you never know what to expect from Ron.”
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