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Suns’ Josh Jackson admits to throwing water bottle during ‘Malice in the Palace’

Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson spilled the beans about an indiscretion from his youth by admitting in a diary piece written for The Undefeated that he threw a water bottle during the infamous “Malice in the Palace.”


Jackson, who grew up in Detroit, was in attendance at The Palace of Auburn Hills as an eight-year-old during the ugly brawl between players on the Pistons and Pacers that spilled off the court and into the stands in a chaotic scene on Nov. 19, 2004.

Jackson indicates in the piece that he felt compelled to act due to his Pistons fandom.

“… I remember seeing so many people everywhere fighting,” Jackson recalls in the piece. “I remember [then-Indiana Pacers forward] Jermaine O’Neal getting hit with a chair. That was one of my most vivid memories. I remember Ron Artest laying on the scorer’s table and someone throwing a drink on him.

“I was looking around and everyone was throwing something on to the court. I am not going to lie. I threw a water bottle. Why? It’s my home team. I’m a Pistons fan. What? The Pacers came in here throwing punches on my favorite players. I couldn’t have that. But that is neither here nor there.

Jackson goes on to write that he was not scared during the violent melee as his parents were there protecting him about 20 rows up from the court.

“The Malice in the Palace” of course is an incident that the NBA does not look back upon fondly. Nor does the NBA hope such an ugly scene ever plays out again in one of its arenas.

That said, “The Malice in the Palace” always will be remembered and serves as an ominous reminder of how quickly things could devolve into abject chaos given the close proximity of players and fans at NBA games. While nothing as ugly has occurred that rivals “The Malice in the Palace,” just how near fans are to the court continues to provide for a setting where bad things can and do happen from time to time.