Stephen Jackson reveals biggest regret on ‘Malice at the Palace’
Almost two decades after the infamous brawl during the game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons, Stephen Jackson speaks up on his biggest regret 17 years after the ‘Malice at the Palace‘. If you ask the former NBA champion, his biggest takeaway from the career-altering scuffle was that they never accomplished what they wanted to at the end of that season which was to win a championship for Pacers legend Reggie Miller.
“If the brawl wouldn’t have happened, we would have been champions,” said Jackson in the recent Netflix documentary called ‘Untold‘ (via Larry Brown Sports). “No question about it. No question. That’s the most f—ed up thing about it. That’s the only thing I regret about the whole situation is not being able to do what we said we were going to do for Reggie.”
The Pacers were on a different level coming into the 2004-2005 NBA Season. After losing to the Pistons in the 2004 ECF, the Miller-led squad was out there to prove that they were title contenders the next season. They had just acquired Jackson who had his best season so far with the Atlanta Hawks after winning a title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003. The Pacers also had a hungry Ron Artest and Jermaine O’Neal who were both coming off their All-Star stints in the previous season.
Unfortunately, after just nine games into the new season, the Pacers found themselves in the middle of a messy situation at the Palace of Auburn Hills in downtown Detroit that would go on to alter the rest of the season. As a result of the ‘Malice at the Palace’, Artest was suspended for the rest of the season while fellow All-Star O’Neal was slapped with a 15-game suspension. For his part, Jackson was suspended for 30 games without pay.
Later that season, Miller announced he was retiring from the sport after 18 ringless seasons with the franchise.