Reggie Miller Confesses NBA Legend Could Have Killed Fan on Court in Netflix Documentary ‘Untold: Malice at the Palace’

Published 08/12/2021, 12:11 AM EDT


No other brawl in the NBA was as scary as the ‘Malice at the Palace’. During a game between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers, a huge brawl erupted when Ben Wallace shoved Ron Artest right in the face. Moreover, it escalated to a point that fans started getting involved in the scuffle.

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Many of them were left injured and shocked in an ugly turn of events. Former NBA player and Pacers legend, Reggie Miller, recollected the day when the whole complexion of the league changed.

Miller notably did not play the game after an injury, but remembers the incidents that happened. Despite the NBA having strict laws and regulations, November 19th, 2004, was a dark day for the NBA.

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Reggie Miller on Jermaine O’Neal’s punch

During the brawl, one noticeable moment came when former Pacers legend, Jermaine O’Neal, punched a fan right on his face. Reggie Miller described the dangerous punch, which may have proved fatal. In the Netflix documentary ‘Untold’, Miller revealed:

“He slipped. Thank God. It was the best miss of Jermaine’s career. Cause if Jermaine would have connected on that punch, that fan would have been dead.”

PORTLAND, OR – NOVEMBER 28: Jermaine O’Neal #7 of the Indiana Pacers adjusts his headband against the Portland Trail Blazers on November 28, 2006 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

The sheer force of that punch cannot be mistaken. However, the video showed that the fan tried to defuse the situation rather than add a spark to it. Despite his efforts, Jermaine O’Neal mistook his intentions and landed a heavy blow on the face.

Luckily, O’Neal couldn’t come up with a proper contact, which proved to be a blessing in disguise for the fan. The power forward came rushing in, but slipped at the last moment.

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The darkest days in NBA history

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Officials and coaches looked puzzled at the turn of events. It all started when a fan named John Green threw a cup on Ron Artest’s face. A guy who is usually hot under the collar, Artest rushed to the stands to retaliate. Despite the numerous announcements from the arena announcer, nobody could foresee the events which took place that day. The Pistons and Pacers had a shameful day.

Children and other fans looked shocked at the moment they witnessed. However, the league announced massive penalties and bans for most of the players involved in the brawl.

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The league adopted new rules and regulations for fans in attendance. Miller described it as one of the most dreadful days in NBA history. How well do you remember the incident?

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Jacob Gijy

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Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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