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#pounditMonday, October 25, 2021

Stephen Jackson reveals his one regret about ‘Malice at the Palace’ incident

Stephen Jackson

Nearly 17 years after the infamous “Malice at the Palace” incident, Stephen Jackson is revealing the one thing he regrets about the whole situation.

Netflix released an episode of their new docuseries “Untold” this week that focused on the notorious Indiana Pacers-Detroit Pistons brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills in 2004. The episode told the story of the incident from the perspectives of those who experienced it, including Jackson and Indiana Pacers teammates Ron Artest, Jermaine O’Neal, and Reggie Miller.

Jackson said in the episode that his one regret was that the brawl cost Miller perhaps his best opportunity to win an NBA championship.

“If the brawl wouldn’t have happened, we would have been champions,” said Jackson. “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 7-2 at the time of the incident and looked poised to contend for the NBA title after making it to the Eastern Conference Finals the year before. But the brawl led to Artest being suspended for the remainder of the season, Jackson drawing a 30-game suspension, and O’Neal receiving a 25-game suspension (which was later reduced to 15 games on appeal). That effectively derailed Indiana’s season, and they failed to make it out of the second round that year. Miller retired at the end of the season, hanging up his sneakers without ever winning a championship.

Earlier in the episode, which is well worth watching in its entirety, Jackson said that he was happy that he was able to come to Artest’s aid when Artest charged into the stands. He also generally does not apologize for much. But the effect the brawl had on Miller’s career is clearly something that still bothers Jackson to this day.

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