Phoenix Suns wing Josh Jackson happened to attend the Malice at the Palace when the Detroit Pistons brawled against the Indiana Pacers.
Here’s what Jackson said about the infamous game back in 2004 (via The Undefeated):
“I was 8 years old. I was kind of sitting right at midcourt about 20 rows up. I remember seeing so many people everywhere fighting. I remember 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 onto the court. I am not going to lie. I threw a water bottle.”
He explained that he “wasn’t scared” and didn’t feel like he was going to get attacked. His parents were standing over him, protecting him from whatever potential violence may have erupted near them in the stands.
Jackson, who lived in Detroit, has talked before about that Pistons team that won the NBA championship the previous season. The 21-year-old said the toughness of the city was reflected on the court (via AZCentral.com):
“The identity of that team definitely matched the identity of the city. You just had to be that way. It’s even more important to be that way on the court than off the court. Coming into the game you never want to have the opposing team think this is going to be an easy night. Every time they hear they’re playing you, you want them to think it’s going to be a tough night, it’s going to be hard.”
Since becoming a professional, Jackson has twice played against the Pistons. Both were losses, though he scored what was then his career-high (20 points) during his first and only game in Detroit.