Ron Artest

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Posted by sonny 02/27/2009 @ 05:00

Tags : ron artest, basketball players, basketball, sports

News headlines
NBA rescinds Kobe Bryant's technical foul - Los Angeles Times
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant drives against Houston's Ron Artest in the first half of Game 6 on Thursday night. The Lakers guard is now at four for the playoffs. A player is suspended one game after he receives his seventh technical in the playoffs....
David Stern Talks Cuban/Kenyon, Instant Replay, Ron Artest - FanHouse
Stern also discussed the brewing debate about determining a flagrant 1 foul and a flagrant 2, and he addressed the possibility controversial Rockets' forward Ron Artest could be a victim of profiling while on the court. Q: Can you address some of the...
Ron Artest's Postgame Interviews Remain Outstanding, Extremely ... - FanIQ
by 100%InjuryRate more posts by author Ron Artest's postgame interviews during this Rockets/Lakers series have been nothing short of amazing. You all remember the truly bizarre "friend got stabbed with a table leg" (which is true) interview,...
Artest says center will be ready, but Rockets prepared to play ... - Houston Chronicle
To those that had not heard, Artest had brought welcome news. “God bless Ron Artest,” Battier said. “God bless him.” One would have thought, however, someone would have mentioned this to Adelman about the same time he was told that Artest's flagrant-2...
Did you see what Artest did to Jeanie Buss? - OCRegister
HOUSTON The era of reality TV came just a little late for what would've been one of the longest-running, greatest shows in television history: Just imagine cameras tracking Ron Artest and Lamar Odom from the time they were pre-teen AAU teammates to...
Brandon Roy on the NBA playoffs, Artest vs. Battier, and his ... - Dime Magazine
Dime: Normally when you've got somebody like Ron Artest or Shane Battier guarding you, it's one game, then you're on to the next game and the next city. But you had those two on you for five, six games straight. Talk about that. BR: It was taxing....
Ron Artest takes direct approach - Los Angeles Times
By Lisa Dillman There's no need to tip-toe around Ron Artest, well, unless you are trying to hide from him on the court. Directness, it appears, is the best approach when venturing into the verbal world of Ron-Ron. He's the man with the new Mohawk,...
Nuggets edge Mavs for 3-0 series lead - Detroit Free Press
Ron Artest will play in Game 4 of Houston's Western Conference semifinal against the Los Angeles Lakers today. The NBA ruled that Artest's hard foul on Pau Gasol late in the Lakers' 108-94 win on Friday did not merit a one-game suspension....
I Love The Lakers, But I Hate Them - Bleacher Report
by Anthony Wilson (Analyst) If you came up to me on the street one day and told me that a team that featured Ron Artest, Shane Battier, Aaron Brooks, Luis Scola My Friend From Argentina, Chuck Hayes, Carl Landry, Von Wafer, Kyle Lowry, and Brent Barry...
Young Rockets Fan Scores Free Tickets -
It's his first time here and its all free. Five tickets courtesy of some controversy and Ron Artest of the Rockets. Wednesday night, we showed you how Artest's unique "do" became a "don't" when Angel wore it to Hamilton Middle School this week....

Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings logo

The Sacramento Kings are a professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California. The Kings are members of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

The franchise that would become the Sacramento Kings initially started in the city of Rochester, New York, as the Rochester Royals of the National Basketball League.

At the conclusion of World War II, the United States lacked a major professional basketball league. The National Basketball League decided to fill that void by stepping up from a regional semi-pro league into the nation's premier professional basketball loop. One of the top professional teams in the country was the Rochester Pros, an independent barnstorming team run by Lester Harrison. They were invited to join the NBL for the 1945–46 season. The team, which had long been known as the Seagrams before briefly adopting the nickname "Pros", held a name-the-team contest and selected the nickname "Royals".

Success for the Royals was almost immediate. Founded in 1945 by owner/coach/general manager Les Harrison (Hall of Famer) and his brother and co-owner/business manager Jack Harrison, the team won the NBL championship in 1945-46. The team was led by Bob Davies, Al Cervi, George Glamack, and Otto Graham, a future NFL Hall of Famer, who, in his only season in professional basketball, won a league championship before moving on to football and leading the Cleveland Browns to ten straight championship games, winning seven.

The following season, NBL Governors voted that the regular season "Pennant Winner" would be declared as the official NBL Champion, and the post-season would consist of a separate, non-championship tournament. The Royals finished 31–13 (.705), capturing their second NBL Championship in as many years, but lost in the post-season tournament finals to the Chicago American Gears.

The following season the NBL scrapped their one-year "pennant" experiment, and from that point forward the post-season playoffs would determine the NBL Champion. The Royals again finished with the league's best overall record at 44–16, but lost to George Mikan's Minneapolis Lakers 3 games to 1 in the NBL Finals.

In 1948, the Royals moved to the Basketball Association of America along with the Fort Wayne Pistons, Minneapolis Lakers, and Indianapolis (Kautskys) Jets. A year later, the BAA merged with the NBL to become the National Basketball Association.

The Royals won the NBA title in 1951 by defeating the New York Knickerbockers 4 games to 3. It is the only NBA championship in the franchise's history to date.

The Royals' twelve-year stay in Rochester featured the services of nine future members of the Basketball Hall of Fame, one member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and a Hollywood Walk of Famer: Al Cervi, Bob Davies, Alex Hannum, Les Harrison, Red Holzman, Arnie Risen, Maurice Stokes, Jack Twyman, Bobby Wanzer, Otto Graham, and Chuck Connors.

In 1957, the Royals were moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, by the Harrison brothers. Despite winning the NBA title in 1951, the Royals had drawn poorly and lost money for five straight years in Rochester and were under pressure to seek a larger market. Cincinnati, which had a strong college basketball fan base and no NFL franchise to compete with, was deemed the best choice. The fact that local college stars Jack Twyman, Dave Piontek and Tom Marshall were on the roster helped make fans quickly.

During the team's first NBA draft in Cincinnati, the team netted future Hall Of Famer Clyde Lovellette and former star guard George King. They teammed with the 1-2 punch of Maurice Stokes and Twyman to produce a budding contender in the team's very first season in the Queen City. Injury to Marshall and the loss of star guard Si Green to military service dropped the team into a tie for second place in the NBA Western Division during the 1957-58 season's second half.

In the season's finale, All-Pro star Maurice Stokes struck his head when he fell after pursuing a rebound. He shook off the effects of the fall, even as he had briefly been unconscious. After Game One in the playoffs three days later, Stokes head injury was greatly aggravated by airplane cabin pressure during the flight back to Cincinnati for Game Two. He suffered a seizure and was permanently hospitalized, a tragedy that greatly shook the team. Stokes, a tremendous talent who could play center, forward and guard, was 2nd in the NBA in rebounds and 3rd in assists, a double-feat only Wilt Chamberlain has matched for a full season. Without Stokes, the team nearly folded.

Fellow All-Star Twyman rose to All-Pro level the next two seasons for Cincinnati, even as the team posted two 19-win seasons. The 1958-59 Cincinnati team featured five rookies, with Lovellette, King and other key players having left the team in the wake of Stokes' tragic injury. The Harrisons, under pressure to sell to a local group, sold to a local ownership headed by Thomas Woods. The fact that Stokes was simply dumped by the team and the new ownership infuriated many.

Jack Twyman came to aid of his teammate and even legally adopted Stokes. Raising funds for Stokes' medical treatment, Twyman helped his fallen teammate until his death in April, 1970. The 1973 feature film Maurie, which co-starred actors Bernie Casey and Bo Svenson, later dramatized their story.

Shootng often for the beleaguered team, Twyman was the second NBA player ever to average 30 points per game for a full NBA season. Both Twyman and Stokes were later named Hall of Famers.

In 1960, the team was able to land local superstar Oscar Robertson. Robertson led a team that included Twyman, Wayne Embry, Bob Boozer, Bucky Bockhorn, Tom Hawkins and Adrian Smith over the next three seasons. The Royals reversed their fortunes with Robertson and rose to title contender. An ownership dispute in early 1963 scuttled the team's playoff chances when new owner Louis Jacobs booked a circus for Cincinnati Gardens for the week of the playoff series versus the champion Boston Celtics. Jacobs, an aloof owner, would prove no ally to the team's title hopes.

In late 1963, another local superstar, Jerry Lucas, joined the team. The Royals rose to second-best record in the NBA. From 1963-66, the Royals contended strongly against Boston and the Philadelphia 76ers, but fell short of their title hopes. The team's star players throughout the 1960s were Oscar Robertson and Jerry Lucas. Robertson met with individual success, averaging a triple-double in 1961-62 and winning the Most Valuable Player award in 1964. Robertson was a league-leading scorer and passer each season. Lucas was Rookie Of the Year in 1964, led the league in shooting, and later averaged 20 rebounds per game over three seasons. Both were All-NBA First Team selections multiple times.

The Royals were an also-ran throughout the era anyway. The team failed to keep promising players and played in the tough NBA East division, dominated by the Boston Celtics, even as a Baltimore team played in the West Division for three years, denying the team likely visits to the NBA Finals.

In 1966, the team was sold to a pair of brothers named Max and Jeremy Jacobs. That same season, the Royals began playing some of their home games in neutral sites such as Cleveland (until the Cavaliers began play in 1970), Dayton & Columbus, which was the norm for the rest of the Royals tenure in the Queen City.

New coach Bob Cousy, a loyal Boston Celtic, traded Lucas in 1969. Robertson was traded to Milwaukee in 1970, where he would immediately win an NBA title. The declining franchise left Cincinnati shortly thereafter, moving to Kansas City in 1972.

The Royals were renamed the Kings because Kansas City already had the Royals baseball team. The basketball team agreed to change its nickname, even though it had used the name for 25 years before the baseball team was established. The team initially divided its home games between Kansas City and Omaha until 1975, when it abandoned the Omaha market. During that time the team was officially called the "Kansas City-Omaha Kings". The team netted a new superstar in Nate Archibald, who led the league in scoring and assists.

While still in Cincinnati, the Kings introduced a most unusual uniform design, which placed the player's surname below his number. The design remained intact through the first several seasons of the team's run in Sacramento, even when the shade of blue on the road uniforms was changed from royal blue to powder blue, and the script "Kansas City" which adorned the road jerseys was scrubbed after the move in favor of a repeat of the "Kings" script on the home shirts.

The Kings had some decent players throughout. Tom Van Arsdale, the shooting forward, "Jumpin" Johnny Green, and Matt Guokas helped Archibald in the first year in Kansas City. Toby Kimball was a fan favorite. Jimmy Walker teamed with Archibald as the Kings made the playoffs the second year. Sam Lacey, an effective passing center, became one of the most dependable players in the league. Archibald became the first player to lead the league in scoring and assists in the first season in Kansas City. However, the management traded Archibald, and wasted high draft picks. Bob Cousy gave way to Phil Johnson, who was fired midyear in 1977 and replaced by Larry Staverman, a player on the team on two separate occasions when it was in Cincinnati and who later became the Cleveland Indians groundskeeper.

The Kings finally achieved some success in their new home when they hired Cotton Fitzsimmons as coach. Coach Fitzsimmons won the Midwest Division in 1978-79 with rookie point guard Phil Ford. Kansas City was led by shooting guard Otis Birdsong, strong on both offense and defense, all around shooting forward Scott Wedman, and passing center Sam Lacey, who had a trademark 25 foot bank shot. They also drew an average of 10,789 fans to Kemper Arena that season, the only time during their tenure in KC that average attendance was in five figures. The Kings made the playoffs in 1979-80 and again in 1980–81, despite finishing the regular season at 40–42. The Kings made a surprise run in the NBA Playoffs, reaching the Western Conference Finals. Big Ernie Grunfeld played the point in this run, as KC used a slow half court game to win the first two rounds. Power forward Reggie King had a remarkable series, dominating the opposition.

However, a series of bad luck incidents prevented the team from building on its success. Ted Stepien, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers lured Wedman and Birdsong away with big contract offers, the roof literally fell in at Kemper Arena because of a winter storm, forcing the team to play most of the 1979-80 season at Municipal Auditorium, and the ownership group sold the team to Sacramento interests for just eleven million dollars. The general manager was fired in a bizarre scandal in which he was found to be reusing marked postage stamps. When the Kings rehired Joe Axelson as general manager, they brought back the man who had previously traded superstars Oscar Robertson, Norm Van Lier, Nate Archibald and Jerry Lucas, and used the third pick in the ABA dispersal draft on Ron Boone. Axelson would stay on after the Kings left Kansas City where, in their last game ever, fans wore Joe Axelson masks. Axelson later would say he hoped his plane would never touch down in Kansas City.

Axelson later would be the first general manager in the history of sports to fail with the same franchise in four different cities: Cincinnati, Kansas City, Omaha and Sacramento. He would not be fired for good until he rehired as coach Phil Johnson, whom he had fired in midseason in Kansas City ten years before. The Kings also had the misfortune of entering this period competing with the Kansas City Comets for the winter sports dollar, when the Comets were led by marketers - the Leiweke brothers. Their final season, 1984-85, resulted in a dismal 31–51 record as fans stayed away from Kemper Arena in droves, with average attendance of just 6,410. The writing was on the wall for Kansas City.

The Kings moved west to their current home of Sacramento, California, in 1985. Much of their early tenure in Sacramento was spent in the NBA's cellar, and the team made the playoffs only once between 1985 and 1995. Some of their failure was attributable to unimaginable misfortune, such as the career-altering car crash suffered by promising point guard Bobby Hurley and the tragic suicide of Ricky Berry; some was attributable to poor management such as the over-long tenure of head coach Garry St. Jean and the ill-fated selection of "Never Nervous" Pervis Ellison with the first overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft.

The early 1990s were not kind to the Kings. Sacramento was known for having strong fan support, which helped them win over 60% of its home games. But it never had a good team and always struggled on the road, going 1–40 on the road in one single season alone, and its owner James Alford Thomas rarely paid for top talent. The Kings squeaked into the playoffs in 1996 largely due to the effort of star player Mitch Richmond, but they did not distinguish themselves in the postseason. Eventually the team was sold to the Maloof Family, who finally changed the direction of the team.

The Kings emerged from years of mediocrity with the draft selection of Jason Williams, the signing of Vlade Divac, and the trade of Mitch Richmond for Chris Webber prior to the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season. These acquisitions coincided with the arrival of Peja Stojakovic, who had been drafted in 1996. Each of these moves was attributed to general manager Geoff Petrie, who has won NBA Executive of the Year several times.

Following these acquisitions, the Kings rose in the NBA ranks, becoming a perennial playoff contender. Led by new head coach Rick Adelman, and aided by former Princeton head coach and Kings assistant Pete Carril, their so-called "Princeton offense" turned heads around the league for its run-and-gun style and superb ball movement. Some criticized the Kings for their poor team defense, Williams's "flash over substance" style of play with its many turnovers, and Webber's failure to step up his game in important matchups. Still, they quickly became NBA darlings, garnering many fans outside of California, and even around the world, many of which were enthralled by Williams's amazing passing abilities and Webber's sharp all-around game. Despite their tremendous successes, they were still a young team, and were ultimately defeated by more experienced teams in the playoffs, losing to the Utah Jazz in 1999 (in a thrilling five-game matchup), and the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000.

Following the 2000 season, the Kings traded starting small forward Corliss Williamson to the Toronto Raptors for defensive shooting guard Doug Christie, opening a starting spot for sharpshooter Stojakovic. Stojakovic and his dead-eye long range shot served as the perfect complement to Webber's smooth inside game, taking the Kings' already-potent offense to new heights. With their continued success on court came their continued rise in popularity, culminating in their gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated in February 2001, with the title "The Greatest Show On Court". In 2001, they won their first playoff series in the Webber era (and their first in twenty years), defeating the Phoenix Suns 3–1, before being swept in four games by the Lakers, who went on to win the NBA championship.

In July 2001, Petrie traded starting point guard Jason Williams to the Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies for point guard Mike Bibby. The trade solved needs on both sides: the Grizzlies, in the process of moving to Memphis, wanted an exciting, popular player to sell tickets in their new home, while the Kings, an up-and-coming team, sought more stability and control at the point guard position. Although questioned by some Kings fans at the time, NBA officials and experts proclaimed Bibby as the better player in the deal, as well as a better leader, having led the Arizona Wildcats to an NCAA championship in 1997. This move was complemented by the crucial re-signing of Webber to a maximum-salary contract, securing the star power forward for years to come.

With the addition of Bibby, the Kings had their best season to date in 2001-02. The team finished with a league-best record of 61-21, going 36-5 at ARCO Arena, and stormed through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Kings then faced the L.A. Lakers, the two-time defending champions in the western conference finals. In what has been widely acclaimed as one of the greatest playoff series of all time, the Kings were able to jump out to a 2-1 lead. Just when it appeared the Kings would be heading back to Sacramento with a 3-1 series lead, Lakers forward Robert Horry burried a game-winning three-pointer (to win the game 100-99)on a play where Vlade Divac batted the ball to get it out from under the rim. Needless to say, the play backfired. However Game 5 saw Mike Bibby return the favor with a game-winning shot of his own with 3.7 seconds left, the Kings won 92-91. In a highly contested game 6 at the STAPLES Center, the Lakers bested the Kings by four points in a seemingly one-sided game. A statistic of note in this game was that the the Lakers shot 27 fourth quarter free throws compared to the Kings 9.

The seventh and final game is considered by many to be one of the NBA's all-time best game 7s. No team gained a double-digit lead in the game. But it was particularly poor free throw shooting that would doom the Kings; missing 14 of their 30 free throw attempts (53.3% shooting). This Kings team wouldn't get a better chance to get to the NBA Finals.

After winning another division championship by going 59-23 in 2002–03, the Kings lost Webber to a knee injury in the playoffs, ultimately losing to the Dallas Mavericks in a seven game series. Webber's knee required major surgery. Although he would return mid-season in 2003–04, he had lost much of his explosiveness and athleticism. The Kings would end the season with a playoff defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves in seven games.

The 2004–05 season marked another season of dramatic change for the Kings, who lost three of their starters from the 2002 team. In the offseason of 2004, Divac opted to sign with the rival Lakers, giving Brad Miller a starting spot at center. Early in the season, Christie was traded to the Orlando Magic for shooting guard Cuttino Mobley. But the most dramatic change came in February, when Webber was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for three relatively unheralded forwards: Corliss Williamson, Kenny Thomas, and Brian Skinner. The Kings ultimately lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Seattle SuperSonics. The 2005 offseason continued the team transformation, with the Kings trading fan favorite Bobby Jackson for Bonzi Wells and acquiring free agent forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

The 2005-06 season started off poorly, as the Kings had a hard time finding chemistry in the team. Newcomers Bonzi Wells and Shareef Abdur-Rahim made major contributions early in the season, but both fell victim to the injury bug and missed a significant number of games. As the Kings' dismal season continued, the Maloofs decided to make a major move.

Popular sharpshooting small forward Peja Stojakovic was traded for Ron Artest, long known for his volatile temper. With this trade, the Kings begin the Artest era until its ultimate end. With Artest in the lineup, the Kings had a 20-9 record after the 2006 NBA All-Star Weekend, which was the second best post-All-Star break record that season. The Kings finished the regular season with a 44-38 record, which placed them 4th in the Pacific Division. The Kings obtained the 8th seed of the Western Conference playoffs, and were matched up in the first round against the San Antonio Spurs in a seven-game series. The Spurs beat the Kings in the first round 4-2.

The 2006 offseason was started with the announcement that head coach Rick Adelman's contract would not be renewed. The Kings named Eric Musselman as Adelman's replacement as head coach.

In 2006-2007, the disappointing play of the Kings had been coupled with the distraction of legal troubles. Coach Eric Musselman pleaded no contest to DUI charges early in the season, while star Ron Artest got in to trouble for neglect of his dogs, and was later arrested for domestic assault. The Kings dismissed Artest of basketball duties, pending more investigation in to the matter, and was later reinstated. The Kings finished the 2006–07 NBA season with an overall record of 33-49 (their worst in 9 years) in which they were 20-21 at ARCO Arena for the first time since 93-94 and 13-28 on the road; fifth place in the Pacific Division. This season record included a seven game losing-streak that started on January 4 and ended on January 19. Consequently, the Sacramento Kings went on to miss the 2007 NBA Playoffs, the first time in eight seasons. Coach Eric Musselman was fired on April 20, 2007. The Kings' future appears to rest on the shoulders of breakout star Kevin Martin, who was a leading candidate for 2007 NBA Most-Improved Player of the Year. The 2007 off season was a time of change for the Kings. Kings coach Eric Musselman was replaced by former Kings player, Reggie Theus for head coach. Fans and sports analysts were puzzled by the hire, especially with Larry Brown expressing great interest in coaching the team. On [June 28, 2007, the Kings selected center Spencer Hawes as the 10th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.

In addition to these changes, the Sacramento Kings acquired center-forward Mikki Moore from the New Jersey Nets. Kevin Martin signed a contract worth $55 million, extending his period with the team for five more years.

However, the Kings also lost some key players over the offseason, with backup point guard Ronnie Price leaving for the Utah Jazz, and Corliss Williamson retiring.

The team claimed fourth-year point guard Beno Udrih off waivers from Minnesota. Udrih quickly assumed the starting point guard job, as Bibby was injured.

It was announced on February 16, 2008 that the Kings had traded longtime point guard Bibby to the Atlanta Hawks for Tyronn Lue, Anthony Johnson, Shelden Williams, Lorenzen Wright and a 2nd round draft pick. The move was done mostly to clear cap space for the future. Bibby was the last remaining original player that got the Kings to the Western Conference Finals back in 2002.

The Kings improved by 5 games and finished the 07-08 season with a 38-44 missing the playoffs by a much bigger margin (12 games) than the previous season (8 games). They went 26-15 at home and 12-29 on the road. After selling out every home game since 1999 the Kings only sold out the three home games (against the Celtics and Lakers) during the 07-08 season averaging 13,500 fans per home game, almost 4,000 below capacity. Many home games struggled to put 15,000 in with empty seats common.

Following a quiet 2008 offseason, it was confirmed on July 29, 2008 that the Kings would trade forward Ron Artest and the rights to Patrick Ewing Jr and Sean Singletary to the Houston Rockets in exchange for former King Bobby Jackson, Donté Greene, a future first round draft pick, and cash considerations .

With new pressures on the Kings to rebuild and return to their glory days, General Manager Geoff Petrie is assembling a new younger more talented squad to hopefully carry the team. With the youthful faces of Kevin Martin, who averages over 20 points and is known for his consistent shooting, and the likes of Francisco Garcia, Bobby Brown, and Beno Udrih, the Kings are optimistic for their future.

A main concern at the moment is their coaching position with the firing of Reggie Theus earlier in the 2008-09 season. With Interim Head Coach Kenny Natt, the Kings have continued to struggle, which leaves the franchise with many questions on the coaching role for next season.

Along with many of the NBA teams, the 2010 free agent market will be of great importance and interest with many big names on the list like Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Paul Pierce. The Kings will definitely need another key player to lead them back into the playoffs and possible championship title.

In light of declining attendance at ARCO Arena, and also in light of the increasing obsolescence of the building compared to newer NBA venues, there was a campaign to build a new $600 million facility in downtown Sacramento, which was to be funded by a quarter cent sales tax increase over 15 years. In 2006, voters overwhelmingly rejected ballot measures Q and R, leading to the NBA publicly calling for a new arena to be built at another well-known Sacramento facility, Cal Expo, the site of California's state fair. Negotiations between the Cal Expo governing board and the NBA (serving on behalf of the Maloof family) are ongoing; the Cal Expo board is looking for improvements to the entire facility (including $40 million in deferred maintenance) as well as a new arena. The NBA promises that no public money will be used for the project; the Cal Expo board has long sought state legislation that would allow Cal Expo to form a joint-powers authority to issue bonds and lease land to developers, it is thought that negotiations for an NBA arena will more quickly bring this to fruition.

Archibald and Robertson were named two of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1996.

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Pacers–Pistons brawl

Ron Artest charging into the stands, about to punch the man (in the black shirt) who he believed threw the cup at him.

The Pacers–Pistons brawl (also known as The Malice at the Palace) was an altercation that occurred in a National Basketball Association game between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers on November 19, 2004 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. With less than a minute before the game was officially over, the fighting began on the court and then extended into the stands after a plastic cup with beer was thrown at then-Pacer player Ron Artest.

The repercussions led to nine players being suspended without pay for a total of 146 games, which led to $10 million in salary being lost by the players. Five players were also charged with assault, and all five were eventually sentenced to a year on probation and community service. Five fans were also legally charged, and John Green, who threw the cup at Artest, received a lifetime ban from attending Pistons games. The fight also led the NBA to mandate increased security presence between players and fans, and to ban the sale of alcohol after the third quarter.

The meeting between the two teams was a rematch of the previous season's heated Eastern Conference Finals, which the Pistons won in six games en route to their first NBA title since the days of the "Bad Boys" of the late 80s and early 90s. Because of this, the game received much hype from the media and fans. Having won two games in a row already, the Pacers came into the game with a 6–2 record, while the Pistons, the defending champions, began their season 4–3.

The game was, like many previous meetings between the two teams, dominated by defense. The Pacers got off to a quick start, opening up a 20-point lead with seven minutes to go before halftime. The Pistons managed to cut into the lead, trailing by 16 points by halftime. The Pistons opened the third quarter with a 9–2 run, but the Pacers ended it with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer and a layup from Jamaal Tinsley heading into the fourth quarter. Richard Hamilton and Lindsey Hunter started the last quarter with consecutive three point field goals, as the Pistons cut into the lead again. But Stephen Jackson's back to back field goals pushed the lead back to 93–79 with 3:52 remaining, putting the Pistons away. Despite the lopsided score near the end of the game, most key players on both teams remained in the game.

The Pacers were led by the 24 point effort of Ron Artest, who scored 17 in the first quarter. Jermaine O'Neal scored a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Tinsley had 13 points, eight assists and a career-high eight steals. Hamilton led the Pistons with 20 points. Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace both recorded a double-double. Despite being outrebounded by the Pistons, the Pacers managed to shoot .414 from the field.

The brawl began with 45.9 seconds remaining in the game, when Indiana led the game 97–82. When Piston center/forward Ben Wallace was fouled by Pacer forward Ron Artest, Wallace responded by shoving Artest in the face, which led to a physical confrontation between several players from both teams. During the argument, Artest laid down on the scorer's table while putting on a headset pretending to give an interview on the radio. He also taunted Wallace which led Wallace to throw an armband at him. A spectator, John Green, then threw a cup with beer at Artest while he was lying on the table, which hit Artest in the chest.

Artest responded by running into the stands and shoving the man he mistakenly believed was responsible, which triggered a violent response from nearby spectators, and involved Stephen Jackson who had also run into the stands. Another melee started when Artest was confronted on the court by two fans, Alvin "A.J." Shackleford and Charlie Haddad. Artest punched Shackleford, and Jermaine O'Neal intervened by slide-punching Haddad in the jaw.

The remaining seconds of the game were called off and the Pacers were awarded the 97–82 win. More debris was thrown at Pacer players and other personnel as they were escorted from the court. No players from either team spoke to the media before leaving the arena. Nine spectators were injured, and two were taken to the hospital.

On November 20, 2004, the NBA suspended Artest, Jackson, O'Neal, and Wallace indefinitely until the lengths of their suspensions were officially decided, saying that their actions were "shocking, repulsive and inexcusable". The following day, the NBA announced that nine players would be suspended for a total of what eventually became 146 games—137 games for Pacers players and 9 games for Pistons players. David Harrison was also seen fighting with fans, but the NBA stated that he wouldn't be suspended because "the incident occurred as the players were attempting to leave the floor." Artest was given the longest suspension, as he was suspended for the remainder of the 2004–05 NBA season, a suspension which eventually totaled 86 games (73 regular season games plus 13 subsequent playoff games), the longest suspension ever levied for a fight during an NBA game. The players suspended also lost nearly $10 million in salary due to the suspensions, and Artest alone lost almost $5 million.

In the week following the announcement of the suspensions, the players' union appealed the suspensions of Artest, Jackson, and O'Neal, saying they thought that David Stern had "exceeded his authority". A federal arbitrator upheld the full length of all suspensions, except that of O'Neal's, which was reduced to 15 games. However, the NBA appealed the decision of the arbitrator to reduce O'Neal's suspension in federal court, and on December 24, a judge issued a temporary injunction allowing O'Neal to play, until a full hearing was held on the NBA's appeal.

O'Neal played in two more games before the NBA's case was brought before the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York on December 30. The NBA argued that under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Commissioner David Stern had absolute authority to pass out suspensions and hear appeals for all on-court incidents. But the judge ruled that because O'Neal's behavior was an off-court incident, arbitration was allowed under the CBA, and thus the arbitrator was within his rights to reduce the suspension. Despite O'Neal's successful appeal, no further appeals were made to reduce Artest's and Jackson's suspensions.

On November 30, eleven days after the brawl, John Green and Charlie Haddad were banned indefinitely from attending any events at venues owned by Palace Sports and Entertainment (the owner of the Pistons), and had their season tickets revoked. Green had several previous criminal convictions, including counterfeiting, carrying a concealed weapon, felony assault and three drunken driving convictions, and he was on court-ordered probation from a DUI conviction at the time of the brawl.

On December 8, 2004 five Indiana players and five fans (John Green, William Paulson, John Ackerman, Bryant Jackson and David Wallace, the brother of Ben Wallace) were formally charged for assault and battery; Jermaine O'Neal and spectator John Green, who county prosecutor David Gorcyca said "single-handedly incited" the brawl by throwing a cup of liquid at Artest, were charged with two counts, and Artest, David Harrison, Stephen Jackson, and Anthony Johnson were charged with one count each. Three fans, including David Wallace, received one count of the same charge, two fans (Charlie Haddad and A.J. Shackleford) who entered the court during the fight were charged for trespassing, and Bryant Jackson, who had prior criminal convictions, was charged with a felony assault for throwing a chair. All of the fans involved were banned from attending Pistons games.

On March 29, 2005, Bryant Jackson pleaded no contest to a felony assault charge for throwing the chair, and on May 3, 2005, he was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution. David Wallace was also convicted, and sentenced to one year of probation and community service for punching Pacer guard Fred Jones from behind.

All five players who were legally charged pleaded no contest to the charges. On September 23, 2005, after pleading no contest to their assault charges, Artest, O'Neal and Jackson were all sentenced to one year on probation, 60 hours of community service, and a $250 fine. A week later, Harrison received the same sentence, and on October 7, 2005, Johnson, the last player to be charged, also received the same sentence.

On March 27, 2006 a jury found Green guilty on one count of assault and battery for punching Artest in the stands, but acquitted him of an assault charge for throwing the cup. On May 1, 2006, Green was sentenced, and received 30 days in jail and two years' probation. On November 7, 2006, the Pistons issued a letter to Green informing him that he was banned for life from attending any Pistons home games.

Several NBA players and coaches said the brawl was the worst fight they had ever seen, and 83% of fans who voted in a SportsNation poll on said that the fight was the "ugliest incident of fan-player violence" they had seen. Initially, Piston fans were blamed for the incident, as John Saunders referred to the them as "a bunch of punks", and Tim Legler said that "the fans crossed the line." Radio host Rush Limbaugh called Detroit "New Fallujah", after the Iraqi city, and 46% of the voters in the SportsNation poll said that the fans were to blame for incident. However, others said that Artest and the other players involved were to blame.

The Pacers and Pistons played for the first time after the brawl on December 25 at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Pistons won 98-93 without any incidents, although neither Artest nor Jackson played, due to their suspensions. Three months later, on February 17, 2005, the NBA imposed new security guidelines for all NBA arenas. The new policies included a size limit of 700 mL (24 ounces) for alcohol purchases and a hard cap of two alcoholic beverage purchases for any individual person, as well as a ban of alcohol sales after the end of the third quarter. They also later ordered that each team put at least three security guards between the players and the fans.

On March 25, 2005, the Pacers played at The Palace for the first time since the brawl. The game was delayed 90 minutes after a series of bomb threats were aimed at the Pacers locker room, but the game eventually started after no explosives were found. Two of the key figures in the original incident missed the game, as Artest was still suspended and O'Neal had an injured shoulder. In the game, the Pacers stopped the Pistons' twelve game winning streak with a 94–81 win.

In the playoffs, Detroit entered as the second seed of the Eastern Conference, and Indiana as the sixth. After the Pistons defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in five games, and the Pacers upset the third seed Boston Celtics in seven games, the two teams met in the second round. Although the Pacers went ahead two games to one, the Pistons clinched the series in six games with three straight wins. After eliminating Indiana, Detroit advanced to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs in seven games.

After serving his required suspension of the rest of the 2004–05 season, Ron Artest returned to the Pacers at the beginning of the 2005–06 season. But after playing only sixteen games, he demanded to be traded, and the Pacers put him on the injured list. The then-general manager of the Pacers Donnie Walsh said that Artest's demands were "the last straw", and after more than a month of inactivity, Indiana traded Artest to the Sacramento Kings for Peja Stojaković. Artest finally made his return to Detroit on January 20, 2007. During the Kings' 91-74 loss to the Pistons, Artest was booed constantly, but there were no unusual incidents.

As of the 2008–09 season, none of the nine players that were suspended after the brawl are still with their original team. Five players—Billups, Artest, Jackson, O'Neal and Johnson—have been traded to other teams, three players—Miller, Campbell, and Coleman—have retired, and one player—Wallace—has signed with another team. The Pistons have advanced to four straight Eastern Conference finals since the brawl, and six straight overall, making them the first team since the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s to advance to six straight conference finals though they have only won the championship once in that streak. However, after losing to the Pistons in the 2005 playoffs, the Pacers have not finished above .500, and they have finished out of the playoffs for two straight years.

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Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers logo

The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team that plays in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team is based in the state's capital and largest city, Indianapolis, Indiana, located in the center of the state. The Indiana Fever of the WNBA, also owned by Melvin & Herb Simon, are the Pacers' sister team and play at Conseco Fieldhouse as well. The Indiana Pacers also have 2 mascots at every home game, Boomer and Bowser, who also appear often for the NBA .

In early 1967, a group of six investors (among them attorney Richard Tinkham, sports agent Chuck Barnes and Indianapolis Star sports writer Bob Collins) pooled their resources to purchase a franchise in the proposed American Basketball Association.

According to Indianapolis attorney, Richard Tinkham, the nickname “Pacers” was decided on through a collective decision of the original investors. Tinkham, one of those investors, recalled that the nickname was a combination of the state’s rich history with the harness racing pacers and the pace car used for the running of the Indianapolis 500. Investor Chuck Barnes was a horse racing enthusiast in addition to being business manager of Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt and Rodger Ward. Barnes' wife, Lois, suggested the name over dinner.

Tinkham said the “Pacers” decision was an easy one, but the real debate was whether the team should be called the Indiana Pacers or the Indianapolis Pacers. Since one of the original ideas for the team was to have it playing throughout the state with its base in Indianapolis, the official team name became the Indiana Pacers.

For their first seven years, they played in the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum, now called the Pepsi Coliseum. In 1974, they moved to the plush new Market Square Arena in downtown Indianapolis, where they stayed for 25 years.

Early in the Pacers' second season, former Indiana Hoosiers standout Bob "Slick" Leonard became the team's head coach, replacing Larry Staverman. Leonard quickly turned the Pacers into a juggernaut. His teams were buoyed by the great play of superstars such as Jimmy Rayl, Mel Daniels, George McGinnis, Bob Netolicky, Rick Mount and Roger Brown. The Pacers were the most successful team in ABA history, winning three ABA Championships in four years. In all, they appeared in the ABA Finals five times in the league's nine year history.

The Pacers were one of four ABA teams that joined the NBA in the ABA-NBA merger in 1976. For the 1976-77 season the Pacers were joined in the merged league by the New York Nets, Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs of the ABA. Financially, the Pacers were by far the weakest of the four ABA refugees. Indeed, they were on far weaker financial footing than the team acknowledged to be the last ABA team left out of the expansion, the Kentucky Colonels. Although it has never been confirmed, it appeared the Pacers made the cut because Indianapolis was a far more lucrative television market than Louisville, home of the Colonels.

The Pacers' financial troubles dated back to their waning days in the ABA; they already begun selling off some of their star players in the last ABA season. They were further weakened by the price required to join the NBA. The league charged a $3.2 million dollar entry fee to each former ABA team. Because the NBA would only agree to accept four ABA teams in the ABA-NBA merger, the Pacers and the three other surviving ABA teams also had to compensate the two remaining ABA franchises which were not a part of the merger. The new NBA teams also were barred from sharing in national TV revenues for four years.

As a result of the steep price they paid to join the NBA, the Pacers were in a dire financial situation. It took a $100,000 contribution from a group of local businesses to keep the franchise going through June 1977. The team announced that unless season-ticket sales reached 8,000 by the end of July 1977, the club would be sold to someone who might take the franchise elsewhere. WTTV, which was the television flagship for Pacers' games at the time, offered to hold a 16.5 hour telethon to keep the team in Indiana. The telethon began on the night of July 3, 1977, and the next day, 10 minutes before the show was set to go off the air, it was announced that team officials had reached the 8,000-ticket goal. In part because of the telethon, the Pacers' average attendance jumped from 7,615 during the 1976-77 season to 10,982 during the 1977-78 season.

They finished their inaugural NBA season with a record of 36-46, as Billy Knight and Don Buse were invited to represent Indiana in the NBA All-Star Game. This was one of the few highlights of the Pacers' first 13 years in the league--a time in which they had but one winning season and just two playoff appearances. A lack of year-to-year continuity became the norm for most of the next decade, as they traded away Knight and Buse before the 1977-78 season even started. They acquired Adrian Dantley in exchange for Knight, but Dantley (who was averaging nearly 27 points per game at the time) was traded in December, while the Pacers' second-leading scorer, John Williamson, was dealt in January.

As a result of their poor performance, the Pacers needed to resort to publicity stunts to attract fans' attention. Before the 1979 season started, they offered women's basketball star Ann Meyers a tryout contract and invited her to the team's training camp. She became the first and, to this date, only woman to try out for an NBA team, but did not make the final squad.

During this time, the Pacers came out on the short end of two of the most one-sided trades in NBA history. In 1980, they traded Alex English to the Nuggets in order to reacquire former ABA star George McGinnis. McGinnis was long past his prime, and contributed very little during his two-year return. English, in contrast, went on to become one of the greatest scorers in NBA history. The next year, they traded a 1984 draft pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for center Tom Owens. Owens only played one year for the Pacers with little impact. This trade looked even more horrendous three years later. In 1983-84, the Pacers finished with the worst record in the Eastern Conference, which would have given the Pacers the second overall pick in the draft. As a result of the Owens trade, they were left as bystanders in the midst of one of the deepest drafts in NBA history--including such future stars as Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton.

The Pacers made their first appearance in the NBA Playoffs in 1980-81, falling in the opening round to the Philadelphia 76ers in two straight games. It was the team's only playoff appearance from 1977 to 1986.

Clark Kellogg was drafted by the Pacers in the 1982 and showed tremendous promise, finishing second in the Rookie of the Year voting, but the Pacers finished the 1982-83 season with their all-time worst record of 20-62, and won only 26 games the following season. After winning 22 games in 1984-85 and 26 games in 1985-86, Jack Ramsay replaced George Irvine as coach and led the Pacers to a 41-41 record in 1986-87 and only their second playoff appearance as an NBA team. Chuck Person, nicknamed "The Rifleman" for his renowned long-range shooting, led the team in scoring as a rookie and won NBA Rookie of the Year honors. Their first playoff win in NBA franchise history was earned in Game 3 of their first-round, best-of-five series against the Atlanta Hawks, but it was their only victory in that series, as the Hawks defeated them in four games.

Reggie Miller was drafted by the Pacers in 1987, beginning his career as a backup to John Long. Many fans at the time disagreed with Miller's selection over Indiana Hoosiers' standout Steve Alford. The Pacers missed the playoffs in 1987-88, drafted Rik Smits in the 1988 NBA Draft, and suffered through a disastrous 1988-89 season in which coach Jack Ramsay stepped down following an 0-7 start. Mel Daniels and George Irvine filled in on an interim basis before Dick Versace took over the 6-23 team on the way to a 28-54 finish. In February 1989, the team did manage to make a trade that would eventually pay off, as they traded veteran center Herb Williams to the Dallas Mavericks for future NBA 6th Man-of-the Year Detlef Schrempf.

In 1989-90 the Pacers parlayed a fast start into the team's third NBA Playoffs appearance. But the Pacers lost all three games in their 1990 NBA Playoffs experience, falling to the Detroit Pistons, who would go on to win their second consecutive NBA Championship. Reggie Miller became the first Pacer to play on the All-Star team since 1976 on the strength of his 24.6 points-per-game average.

In 1990-91, the Pacers returned to the playoffs with a 41-41 record, and Schrempf was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year. Bob Hill was head coach at this time. The Pacers had a memorable series against the highly favored Boston Celtics that they managed to extend to five games before losing Game 5, 124-121, with Larry Bird hosting one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. The Pacers returned to the playoffs in 1991-92 and met the Celtics again, but this time the Celtics left no doubt who was better as they swept the Pacers in three straight games.

Chuck Person and point guard Micheal Williams were traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the offseason, and the Pacers got Pooh Richardson and Sam Mitchell in return. For the 1992-93 season, Detlef Schrempf moved from sixth man to the starter at small forward and was elected to his first All-Star game. Miller, meanwhile, became the Pacers' all-time NBA era leading scorer during this season (4th overall). The Pacers returned to the playoffs with a 41-41 record, but lost to the New York Knicks in the first round, three games to one.

Larry Brown was brought on as Pacers' coach for the 1993-94 season, and Pacers' general manager Donnie Walsh completed a highly-criticized (at the time) trade as he sent Schrempf to the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for Derrick McKey and little known Gerald Paddio. But the Pacers, who began the season in typically average fashion, kicked it up a notch in April, winning their last eight games of the season to finish with a franchise-high 47 wins. They stormed past Shaquille O'Neal and the Orlando Magic in a first-round sweep to earn their first NBA playoff series win, and pulled off a tremendous upset by defeating the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks in the Conference Semifinals.

It was during the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals that the Pacers—particularly Reggie Miller—finally became a household name. With the series tied 2-2 going into game 5 in New York, Miller had the first of many legendary playoff performances. With the Pacers trailing the Knicks by 15 points early in the 4th quarter, Miller scored 25 points in the 4th quarter, including five 3-point field goals. Miller also famously flashed the choke sign to Knick fans while leading the Pacers to the improbable come from behind victory. The Knicks ultimately came back to win the next two games and the series, but Reggie became an NBA superstar overnight. Miller was a tri-captain and leading scorer of the USA Basketball team that won the gold medal at the 1994 FIBA World Championship.

Mark Jackson joined the team in an offseason trade with the Los Angeles Clippers, giving the team the steady hand at the point guard position that had been lacking in recent years. The Pacers enjoyed a 52-30 campaign in 1994-95, giving them their first Central Division title and their first 50+ win season since the ABA days. The team swept the Hawks in the first round, before another meeting with the rival Knicks in the conference semi-finals. Once again, it was up to Reggie Miller to provide some fireworks. This time, with the Pacers down six points with 16.4 seconds remaining in game one, Miller scored eight points in 8.9 seconds to help secure the two point victory. The Pacers ultimately dispatched the Knicks in seven games and pushed the Magic to seven games before falling in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Pacers duplicated their 52-30 record in 1995-96, but were hurt severely by an injury to Reggie Miller's eye socket in April, from which he was not able to return until Game 5 of their first-round series against the Hawks. Reggie scored 29 points in that game, but the Hawks came away with a two-point victory to put an early end to Indiana's season. This 1995-96 team did manage to go down in history as the only team to defeat the Chicago Bulls twice that year, a Bulls team which made history with an all-time best 72-10 record.

The Pacers could not withstand several key injuries in 1996-97, nor could they handle the absence of Mark Jackson, who had been traded to the Denver Nuggets before the season (though they did re-acquire Jackson at the trading deadline). The Pacers finished 39-43 and missed the playoffs for the first time in seven years, after which coach Larry Brown stepped down.

The Pacers selected Larry Bird to coach the team in 1997-98 and they posted a new franchise record, finishing 58-24--a dramatic 19-game improvement from the previous season. Chris Mullin joined the team in the offseason and immediately became a valuable part of the Pacers lineup-- and their starting small forward. Assistant coaches Rick Carlisle, in charge of the offense, and Dick Harter, who coached the defense, were key in getting the most out of the Pacers' role players such as Dale Davis, Antonio Davis and Derrick McKey. Reggie Miller and Rik Smits both made the All-Star team that year, and in the playoffs, the Pacers breezed past the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks before falling to the Chicago Bulls in an epic seven-game Eastern Conference Final.

In the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season, the Pacers won the Central Division with a 33-17 record and swept the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers before falling to the New York Knicks in a six-game Eastern Conference Finals series. The Pacers traded popular forward Antonio Davis to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for first-round draft choice Jonathan Bender, which remains to this day a subject of controversy among Pacers fans. But in the Playoffs, after a 56-26 regular season, the Pacers survived the upset-minded Bucks in round one, handled the 76ers in the second round and finally broke through to the NBA Finals by virtue of a six-game East Finals victory over the New York Knicks.

Their first NBA Finals appearance was against the Los Angeles Lakers, who proved too much for them to handle as they ended Indiana's championship hopes in six games. However, the Pacers dealt Los Angeles their worst playoff defeat up to that time by a margin of 33 points in Game Five.

The offseason brought sweeping changes to the Pacers' lineup, as Rik Smits and coach Larry Bird retired, Chris Mullin returned to his old Golden State Warriors team, Mark Jackson signed a long-term contract with Toronto, and Dale Davis was traded to Portland for Jermaine O'Neal, who went on to average 12.9 points per game in his first year as a starter. It was a rebuilding year for the Pacers under new head coach Isiah Thomas, but the team still managed to return to the playoffs, where they lost to the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in four games.

In the midseason of 2001-02, the Pacers made a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Bulls that sent Jalen Rose and Travis Best to Chicago in exchange for Brad Miller, Ron Artest, Kevin Ollie and Ron Mercer. Brad Miller and Ron Artest would, in the next few years, go on to be All-Stars for the Pacers. The trade bolstered a team that had been floundering, and the Pacers managed to return to the playoffs, where they pushed the top-seeded New Jersey Nets to five games before losing Game 5 in double overtime. Jermaine O'Neal made his first of what would be several All-Star appearances this year, erasing any doubt that trading the veteran workhorse, Dale Davis, to Portland for him was a good idea.

The Pacers got off to a 13-2 start in 2002-03, but hit the wall after the All-Star break thanks in no small part to Ron Artest's multiple suspensions and family tragedies befalling Jermaine O'Neal, Jamaal Tinsley and Austin Croshere. O'Neal and Brad Miller both made the All-Star team and the Pacers made a substantial improvement as they finished 48-34, but they suffered a loss to the underdog Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.

In the 2003 offseason, the Pacers managed to re-sign O'Neal for the NBA maximum and inked Reggie Miller to a modest two-year deal, but they could not afford to keep their talented center, Brad Miller. He was dealt to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Scot Pollard, who spent much of the following year watching from the bench and backing up Jeff Foster. But the Pacers signed Larry Bird as team president, and Bird wasted little time in dismissing coach Isiah Thomas and replacing him with Rick Carlisle.

The Pacers responded to Carlisle extremely well, and had a breakthrough 2003-04 season in which they finished 61-21, earning the best record in the NBA as well as a franchise record. O'Neal and Artest made the All-Star team, and Artest was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year.

The Pacers swept the Boston Celtics easily in the first round, and squeezed by a scrappy Miami Heat team in the conference semi-finals. But the Detroit Pistons proved an impediment to Indiana's championship aspirations, as they defeated the Pacers in six games on their way to the NBA Championship.

Al Harrington, a small forward who had established himself as one of the best sixth-men in the NBA, was dealt in the offseason to the Atlanta Hawks in return for Stephen Jackson after Harrington allegedly demanded that the Pacers start him or trade him.

Nevertheless, the Pacers started off the 2004-05 season in extremely strong fashion–until the infamous events of November 19, 2004.

Several of the involved players were suspended by NBA Commissioner David Stern, but the hardest hit were Artest (suspended for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs), Jackson (suspended for 30 games), O'Neal (25 games), Wallace (6 games) and the Pacers' Anthony Johnson (5 games) (O'Neal's suspension was later reduced to 15 games by arbitrator Roger Kaplan, a decision that was upheld by U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels). O'Neal was charged with two counts of assault and battery, while Artest, Jackson, Johnson and David Harrison were charged with one count each.

After the brawl and riot that followed, the Pacers fell downward into the Central Division. They went from a legitimate title contender to a team that hovered around .500 in winning percentage. The Pistons eventually became the Central Division champions. Despite the difficulties with the suspensions and injuries, the Pacers earned a sixth seed in the playoffs with a record of 44-38. An important reason for their strong finish was the re-acquisition of Dale Davis, who had been released by New Orleans after being traded there by Golden State. He played the final 25 games of the regular season and every playoff game, contributing a strong presence at center. And Davis' signing coincided with an injury to Jermaine O'Neal that would knock him out for virtually the remainder of the regular season—indeed, O'Neal's first missed game due to his injury was Davis' first game back with the Pacers.

So despite the adversity they had gone through, the Pacers made the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 years. In the first round, Indiana defeated the Atlantic Division champion Boston Celtics in seven games, winning Game 7 in Boston by the decisive margin of 97-70.

The Pacers then advanced to the second-round against the Detroit Pistons, in a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Finals. The series featured games back at The Palace of Auburn Hills, the scene of the brawl that many assumed at the time had effectively ended the Pacers' season. After losing game 1, the Pacers won the next two games to take a 2-1 lead. However, the Pacers could not repeat their victories against the Pistons and lost the next 3 games, losing the series 4-2.

The final game (game 6) was on May 19, 2005; Reggie Miller, in his final NBA game, scored 27 points and received a huge standing ovation from the crowd. Despite Miller's effort, the Pacers lost, sending Miller into retirement without an NBA Championship in his 18-year career, all with the Pacers. Miller had his #31 jersey retired by the Pacers on March 30, 2006 when the Pacers played the Phoenix Suns.

The Pacers made a major move for the 2005-06 season by signing Šarūnas Jasikevičius, the floor leader of two-time defending Euroleague champions Maccabi Tel Aviv.

In 2005, the Pacers got off to an average start. On December 10, 2005, Ron Artest told a reporter for the Indianapolis Star that he wanted to be traded, saying "the team would be better off without me". Various Pacers, including Jermaine O'Neal, soon denounced him, as O'Neal did not want to talk about it. On December 12, the Pacers placed Artest on their inactive list and began seeking a trade for the troubled star. On December 16, the NBA fined Ron Artest $10,000 for publicly demanding a trade, which is similar to "degrading the league".

After that, the team had gone on a 9-12 tailspin and was 22-22, a far cry from the beginning where people mentioned that the Pacers would be one of the NBA's elite. On January 24, 2006, it was said that Artest would be traded to the Sacramento Kings for Peja Stojakovic, when the trade was declined suddenly. The following day, however, the trade was accepted, and Indiana finally cut ties with the troubled All-Star. On February 1, 2006, they managed to beat the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers, keeping the high-scorer below his average. Jermaine O'Neal was also sidelined with a torn left groin and missed two months. The Pacers finished the season 41-41.

Despite the Artest saga and many key injuries the Pacers made the playoffs for the 14th time in 15 years. They also were the only road team to win Game 1 of a first-round playof series.. However New Jersey won game 2 to tie the series at 1-1 heading back to Indiana. In game 3 Jermaine O'Neal scored 37 points as the Pacers regained a 2-1 series lead. The Nets, however, won games four and five to take a 3-2 series lead. In Game 6 Anthony Johnson scored 40 points but the Pacers' season came to an end as the Nets won 96-90.

The 2006 offseason saw big changes to the Pacers roster. They drafted Shawne Williams and James White . Additionally on July 1, 2006 they completed a sign-and-trade with starting small forward Peja Stojakovic to the New Orleans Hornets for a $100 million (sic) trade exception. . The trade raised questions around the league, as Stojakovic was a free agent and did not need to be traded for. Some believe the Hornets made the trade so the Pacers could use the exception to re-acquire Al Harrington in a sign-and-trade, keeping the top free agent away from the Western Conference. On August 22 the Pacers completed the trade for Harrington and John Edwards in exchange for a future first round pick.

In July, forward Austin Croshere was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for guard/forward Marquis Daniels . The Pacers also made another trade with the Mavericks acquiring Darrell Armstrong, Rawle Marshall, and Josh Powell in exchange for Anthony Johnson .

The team lost Fred Jones and Scot Pollard via free agency, to the Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively.

Another move saw the Pacers sign Euro League Player Maceo Baston who previously teamed with former Pacer Sarunas Jasikevicius on Israeli's premier team, Maccabi Tel Aviv.

However, the "restoration project" took a major image hit when player Stephen Jackson and some teammates decided to visit a strip club on October 6, 2006. Upon leaving the club, Jackson was involved in an argument during which he was hit by a car. In response, Stephen pulled a gun out and fired off a warning shot.

The Pacers finished the 2006-2007 season as one of the worst seasons in team history. At a record standing at 35-47, everything that could have gone wrong did in this dreadful season. The turning point of the season would be the 11 game losing streak that started around the all star break. Injuries to Jermaine O'Neal, Marquis Daniels, a lack of a solid back up point guard, the blockbuster trade midway through the season that interrupted the team chemistry, having poor defensive efforts and being last place in the league in the offensive department were the main reasons that led to the team's struggles. The April 15 loss to New Jersey Nets knocked the Pacers out of the playoffs for the first time since the 1996-1997 season.

On January 17, 2007, the Indiana Pacers traded Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius, and Josh Powell to the Golden State Warriors for forward Troy Murphy, forward/guard Mike Dunleavy, Jr., forward Ike Diogu, and guard Keith McLeod.

On April 25, 2007, the Indiana Pacers announced the firing of coach Rick Carlisle, with the Pacers' first losing record in ten seasons being the main reason for the coach's dismissal. Pacers' president Larry Bird noted that Carlisle had the opportunity to return to the Pacers franchise in another role. Later, Carlisle opted to not stay with the organization and is now broadcasting with ESPN and may return to coaching in the future, which he did with the Dallas Mavericks in 2008. On May 31, 2007, Jim O'Brien was named the head coach of the Indiana Pacers. O'Brien made it clear that he intended to take the Pacers back to the playoffs in the 2007-2008 season. He also made it known that he favors a more up-tempo, fast-paced style as opposed to Carlisle's slower, more meticulous style of coaching.

Despite missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 80's, the 2007-2008 season displayed many signs of growth in the team, especially towards the end of the season. Off-court legal distraction from Jamaal Tinsley, Marquis Daniels, and Shawne Williams in the middle of the season did not help the Pacers struggles, and injuries to Tinsley and Jermaine O'Neal damaged the Pacers' already weak defense and left almost all point guard duties to recently acquired Travis Diener, who saw minimal minutes on his previous NBA teams. Despite this, and a 36-46 record, the Pacers had a very strong finish to the season, which included a desperate attempt to steal the 8th seed from the Atlanta Hawks, and dramatic improvement in forwards Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy. Both Granger and Dunleavy were involved in the voting for Most Improved Player, with Dunleavy finishing in the top 10. The two were also the first Pacer pair to score 1500 points each in a single season since Reggie Miller and Detlef Schrempf did it in the early 90s. On July 9, 2008, the Pacers traded Jermaine O'Neal and the rights to Nathan Jawai to the Toronto Raptors for T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic, Maceo Baston, and the rights to Roy Hibbert.On the same day the Pacers acquired Jarrett Jack, Josh McRoberts, and the rights to Brandon Rush from the Portland Trail Blazers in return for Ike Diogu and the rights to Jerryd Bayless. On October 10, 2008, the Pacers traded Shawne Williams to the Dallas Mavericks for Eddie Jones and two future second-round draft picks.

In April of the 2007-2008 Season, Pacers GM since 1984 Donnie Walsh left the Pacers to join the New York Knicks. All of Walsh's basketball-related duties were given to Pacers' President Larry Bird. Walsh's business-related roles were given to co-owner Herbert Simon and Jim Morris, who was promoted to President of Pacers Sports & Entertainment.

The Pacers wear the usual white home uniform with navy blue and gold trim. Their away uniform is navy blue with gold trim. They also have a third uniform which is gold with navy blue trim.

The Indiana Pacers are also the only team in the league in which all the players' jerseys they have retired are in the 30s.

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Jalen Rose

Jalen Anthony Rose (born January 30, 1973 in Detroit, Michigan) is a retired American professional basketball player. In college, he was a member of the University of Michigan Wolverines' "Fab Five" (along with Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson) that reached the 1992 and 1993 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship games as both Freshmen and Sophomores. Rose's biological father Jimmy Walker was a former #1 overall pick who started in the backcourt alongside Jerry West in an NBA All-Star game at one point in his career. Walker died in July 2007 of lung cancer. Although they eventually spoke several times over the phone, Rose never met his father in person. Although most Michigan Wolverines men's basketball records from 1992–1998 have been forfeited due to NCAA sanctions, Rose's second All-American season (1993–94) was not and only the final two games of his first All-American season (1991–92) were forfeited.

As a star at Southwestern High School in Detroit, Rose obtained a high profile and can even be seen at a high school All-American camp in the documentary film, Hoop Dreams. Rose attended the University of Michigan where the Wolverines reached two NCAA Finals games in 1992 and 1993, finishing as national runners up both times. Rose was a part of Wolverines coach Steve Fisher's legendary 1991 recruiting class, dubbed the "Fab Five". He led the Fab Five in scoring his freshman year averaging 19 points per game and set the school freshman scoring record with 597 total points. Aside from being the most outspoken of the Fab Five, Rose was also their point guard and leader. During his career, he racked up over 1700 points, 400 rebounds, 400 assists, and 100 steals. Of the players called before the grand jury (Robert Traylor, Webber, Rose, Maurice Taylor, and Louis Bullock) in the University of Michigan basketball scandal, he was the only one not listed as having received large amounts of money.

Rose has played for six different NBA teams, forging a solid pro career after skipping his senior season at Michigan. He was selected 13th overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 1994 NBA Draft. After two years with Denver, he was traded to the Indiana Pacers, along with Reggie Williams and a future first round draft pick, for Mark Jackson, Ricky Pierce, and a 1st round draft pick.

Despite his successes in Indiana, he was never readily accepted early on. Rose logged a lot of DNPCD's (Did Not Play - Coach's Decision) under Coach Larry Brown. Rose also often spoke out about the fact he was being used as a backup two-guard and small forward over his preference, which was point guard. It was not until Larry Bird took over coaching duties did Rose finally begin to blossom, eventually realizing he was most effective at small forward.

Rose's greatest moments as a pro occurred as a member of the Indiana Pacers, as he helped the team get back on its feet after a disastrous 1996-97 season and make it to three consecutive Eastern Conference Finals appearances. Rose became the first player in eight years other than Reggie Miller to lead the Pacers in scoring in the 1999-2000 season when he averaged 18.2 points per game for the eventual Eastern Conference Champions. He helped lead them to the Eastern Conference Championship in 2000 (though Indiana would ultimately lose the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games). Rose averaged 23 points per game in the six game Finals series, including a 32-point effort in a game five win.

During the 2001-02 season, Rose was traded to the Chicago Bulls along with Travis Best, Norman Richardson, and a future second round draft pick in exchange for Brad Miller, Ron Mercer, Ron Artest and Kevin Ollie.

Jalen Rose was expected to be the veteran franchise player that the Bulls could build their youngsters around. Unfortunately, the team's young players failed to develop, the coaches failed to successfully lead the team, and Rose failed to reach the All-Star level the Bulls felt certain he would reach.

After 16 games in the 2003-04 season, Rose was traded to the Toronto Raptors, along with power forwards Donyell Marshall and Lonny Baxter. Jalen Rose found moderate success with the Raptors, but the team soon decided to rebuild.

On February 3, 2006, midway through the 2005-06 campaign, he was traded, along with a first-round draft pick, and an undisclosed sum of cash (believed to be around $3 million), to the New York Knicks for Antonio Davis, where he was reunited with Larry Brown, his coach for one year with the Indiana Pacers. The motivation behind this trade was apparently to free up cap space (Rose earned close to $18 million a year) as well as for the Raptors to acquire an experienced center who could relieve some of Chris Bosh's rebounding duties. Rose's final game and contribution for the Raptors was a home win against the Sacramento Kings, where he scored the winning basket in overtime.

Rose's tenure with the Knicks was uneventful and prior to the start of the 2006-07 NBA season on October 30, 2006, the Knicks cut ties with Rose by waiving him. He was courted by several teams including the Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat. On November 3, 2006, Rose announced he would sign with the Suns on his blog at On November 7, it was officially announced that Rose had signed a $1.5 million one-year deal with Phoenix.

As a member of the Phoenix Suns, Rose did not play very many minutes. The fast-paced Suns offense was too fast for the aging swingman and his knees became a liability on defense. Upon the Suns' elimination from the 2007 NBA Playoffs, he became a regular commentator for ESPN giving regular insider perspective on games from both a player's and analyst's perspective. Rose has also been a courtside reporter for TNT during the playoffs.

A left-handed player, Rose was known to have a smooth and versatile offensive game. Jalen was particularly gifted as a scorer from the perimeter or the post, capable of putting up 20 points most any night. Jalen was used throughout his career at three different positions. He began his career as a point guard for the Denver Nuggets and became a shooting guard/small forward for the Indiana Pacers. He then returned to the point guard position briefly with the Toronto Raptors. However, during his career he was most effective as a small forward or swingman. Jalen was also a good passer, especially for his height, and Indiana often employed him as a point forward. Not known for his defense, Rose's best moment defensively came during the 1997-1998 season, when Rose emerged as a defensive stopper on Michael Jordan in the Eastern Conference Finals, though the Bulls pulled out the series in seven games. Rose has sometimes been regarded as a team leader, particularly under head coach Larry Bird, though he reportedly was a disruptive force in the Pacers' locker room during his feud with the coach at that time Isiah Thomas, after Thomas cut former Fab Five teammate Jimmy King on the final day to do so before the 2000-2001 season.

While he showed a willingness in Toronto to work harder than ever (particularly on defense), Rose also frequently clashed with Raptors coach Sam Mitchell, who benched a struggling Jalen early in the 2005-06 season in favor of rookie Joey Graham.

In the following months, Rose at least raised his play to a more acceptable level. He increased his Player Efficiency Rating more than three whole points (to 13.7) while averaging 12.1 points, 2.5 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game. However, he only shot 40.4% from the field and 27% from three-point range (including a 51.4 true shooting percentage) through 46 games.

Rose is a supporter of his alma mater and was seen rooting for Michigan's basketball team during the 2006 NIT Final Four with fellow ex-Wolverine, Maurice Taylor. Rose is also known for his philanthropic efforts. He contributes to inner city youth by helping to build reading centers. He has also given Dikembe Mutombo a check for $100,000 to help with the construction of an operating room for the hospital Mutumbo built in the Congo.

Rose is the owner of Three Tier Entertainment, an independent, LA based management and production company. Created in 2007, Three Tier Entertainment is heavily involved in the development of television & film projects and also manages talent including directors, actors and screenplay writers.

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Rick Carlisle

Richard Preston Carlisle (pronounced KAHR-lye-uhl) (born October 27, 1959 in Ogdensburg, New York) is the head coach of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. He was previously player in the NBA, and also coached the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons.

Carlisle was raised in Lisbon, New York. He graduated from Worcester Academy and played two years of college basketball at the University of Maine before transferring to the University of Virginia, where he co-captained the Cavaliers to the Final Four in 1984. After graduating that same year, he was drafted by the Boston Celtics (23rd pick in the third round), where he played alongside Larry Bird on the Celtics' 1986 NBA Championship team. With the Celtics, he averaged 2.2 points, 1.0 assists and 0.8 rebounds per game in a limited reserve role.

In 1987, Carlisle was sent to the New York Knicks. In 1989, Carlisle played in 5 games with the New Jersey Nets.

Later that year, he accepted an assistant coach position with the Nets, where he spent five seasons under Bill Fitch and Chuck Daly. In 1994, Carlisle joined the assistant coaching staff with the Portland Trail Blazers under coach P.J. Carlesimo, where he spent three seasons.

In 1997, Rick Carlisle joined the Indiana Pacers organization as an assistant coach under his former teammate, Larry Bird. During his time as Pacers assistant coach, he helped the Pacers to two of their best seasons ever. First, in 1997-98, the Pacers stretched the Chicago Bulls to the limit, narrowly losing the deciding seventh game of the Eastern Conference finals to the eventual NBA champion. Then, in 1999-2000, the Pacers made the NBA Finals for the first time, ultimately losing to the Los Angeles Lakers. Bird stepped down as coach, and pushed for Carlisle to be selected as his replacement, but Pacers team president Donnie Walsh gave the job to Isiah Thomas.

For the 2001 season, Carlisle was recruited by the Detroit Pistons to be their new head coach. In two seasons as Pistons' head coach, Carlisle led them to consecutive 50-32 records (.610) and playoff appearances, and was named Coach of the Year in 2002. However, the Pistons fired Carlisle after the 2002-03 season with a year remaining on his contract and hired Larry Brown. Friction between Carlisle and team ownership was cited as one of the primary reasons for the firing.

Ironically, Carlisle's Pistons had just dispatched Brown's 76ers in the conference semifinals.

For the 2003-04 season, Carlisle was re-hired by the Indiana Pacers -- but this time, as its head coach (Isiah Thomas had been fired, almost immediately after Larry Bird was brought back as the new President of Basketball Operations). In his first season, Carlisle led the Pacers to the NBA's best regular-season record (61-21; 74.4%). In the playoffs, the team eliminated both the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, before losing to the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. In 2005, the Pacers roster was decimated by injuries (most notably, those of Jermaine O'Neal and Jamaal Tinsley), and suspensions (due to the Pacers–Pistons brawl attributed to Ron Artest at the Palace of Auburn Hills). Carlisle was still able to rally the Pacers to the NBA Playoffs that season, though. As the sixth seed, they again defeated the Boston Celtics in the first round, before being defeated once again by the eventual Eastern Conference Champion, the Pistons.

After the Pacers finished the 2006-07 season with a 35-47 record (missing the playoffs for the first time since 1997), Carlisle's tenure as head coach ended; it is unclear whether he voluntarily resigned, was fired, or was pushed to resign. In four seasons with the Indiana Pacers, Carlisle compiled a 181-147 record. On June 12, 2007, Carlisle announced that he would also resign from his position as Executive Vice-president of the Pacers.

After leaving Indiana, Carlisle worked as a studio analyst for ESPN before signing with the Dallas Mavericks as its new head coach.

On May 9, 2008 Carlisle signed a four-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks, replacing Avery Johnson.

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Small forward

Basketball half-court

The small forward, or, colloquially, the three, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. Small forwards are typically somewhat shorter, quicker, and leaner than power forwards and centers, but on occasion are just as tall. The small forward position is considered to be perhaps the most versatile of the main five basketball positions, due to the nature of its role. Most current NBA small forwards are between 6' 5"/1.96 m and 6' 10"/2.08 m in height.The typical placement for a small forward would be between the key and three-point line. Most small forwards are very versatile and very essential in a line-up.

Famous small forwards include Julius Erving, Rick Barry, John Havlicek, Chris Mullin, Grant Hill, James Worthy, Larry Bird, Bernard King, Scottie Pippen, Lebron James and many others.

Small forwards are primarily responsible for scoring points and also often as secondary or tertiary rebounders behind the power forwards and centers, although a few who play as point forwards have considerable passing responsibilities. Many small forwards in professional basketball, however, are prolific scorers. The styles with which small forwards amass their points vary widely, as some players at the position like the Hornets' Peja Stojaković are very accurate straight up shooters, while others like the Houston Rockets' Ron Artest prefer to "bang inside", initiate and/or not shy away from physical contact with opposing players, while others are primarily slashers such as Carmelo Anthony and Lebron James. One common thread between all kinds of small forwards is an ability to "get to the line", that is have opposing players called for committing shooting fouls against them, as fouls are frequently called on the defense when offensive players "take the ball hard" to the basket, that is, aggressively attempt post-up plays, lay-ups, or slam dunks. Therefore, accurate foul shooting is an imperative skill for small forwards, many of whom record a large portion of their points from the foul line.

Defense is often a major priority for small forwards, who are often counted on using their athleticism and size as defensive advantages. Shawn Marion of the Toronto Raptors and Tayshaun Prince of the Detroit Pistons who with their length and athleticism are able to guard any position on the floor and are often called upon to do so. Bruce Bowen of the San Antonio Spurs, while not a star offensive player, is a masterful and tenacious defender, both on the perimeter and closer to the hoop. Former small forwards known for their defensive abilities include Scottie Pippen, one of the best one-on-one defenders in the NBA for most of his career.

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Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace Was with Detroit Pistons from 2000-2006 until he signed as a free agent with Chicago Bulls for 4 years

Ben Camey Wallace (born September 10, 1974 in White Hall, Alabama) is an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Nicknamed "Big Ben", he plays the center and power forward, and is listed at 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) and 240 lb (110 kg). He has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award four times, a record he shares with Dikembe Mutombo. Wallace was a member of the Detroit Pistons team that won the NBA championship in 2004. After signing with the Chicago Bulls in 2006 as a free agent, Wallace joined the Cleveland Cavaliers in a mid-season trade in February 2008.

Ben Wallace was born in White Hall, Alabama, a small town located in Lowndes County, and is the 10th of 11 children. He later attended Central High School in Hayneville where he received all-state honors in basketball, baseball, and even football (as a linebacker). Former basketball player Charles Oakley is Wallace's mentor, having discovered Wallace at a 1991 basketball camp, and later recommended Wallace to his previous college, Virginia Union.

Wallace first played college basketball on the junior college level at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland for two years. There, staples of Wallace's defensive prowess began developing as he averaged 17.0 rebounds and 6.9 blocks per game. He then transferred to Virginia Union, a Division II school, where he studied criminal justice. Wallace averaged 13.4 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game as a member of the Virginia Union Panthers, who he led to the Division II Final Four and a 28-3 record. As a senior, Wallace was named to the First-Team All CIAA and was selected as a First Team All-American (Div. II) by the NABC. Wallace was a letterman in football, baseball, basketball and track. He won All-State honors in all but track.

As an undrafted player, he was signed as a rookie free agent by the Washington Bullets on October 2, 1996 after playing in Italy.

In 1999, Wallace was traded to the Orlando Magic along with Tim Legler, Terry Davis, and Jeff McInnis for Ike Austin.

On August 3, 2000, he was traded along with Chucky Atkins to the Detroit Pistons for Grant Hill, in what was at the time considered a one-sided trade; Hill had planned to sign with Orlando as an unrestricted free agent, but the sign and trade deal allowed Hill to receive a slightly more lucrative contract while Detroit received at least some compensation for losing its marquee player. Since the trade, he has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2001-02, 2002-03, 2004-05, and 2005-06 seasons, and was selected to six All-Defensive teams. In the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, he led the league in both rebounds and blocked shots, the first to do so since Hakeem Olajuwon. In 2003, he was voted by fans to the first of his four NBA All-Star Game appearances as a center for the Eastern Conference.

Near the end of a November 2004 game against the Indiana Pacers, Wallace responded to a foul by Indiana's Ron Artest by shoving Artest, which eventually led to the Pacers–Pistons brawl, involving both players and spectators. Wallace was suspended for six games, and his brother David Wallace, received a year of probation and community service for punching Indiana players in the stands.

The Pistons began a tradition of sounding a deep chime whenever "Big Ben" scored or recorded a block on Detroit's home court, the Palace of Auburn Hills -- an allusion to the original Big Ben in London. (The Bulls and Cavaliers continued the gimmick during his respective tenures with Chicago and Cleveland).

On July 3, 2006, Wallace agreed to a four-year, $60 million deal with the Chicago Bulls. During his two-year run in Chicago, Wallace battled with various knee injuries and averaged 5.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.0 blocks per game.

On February 21, 2008, he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of a three-team deal that included the Seattle SuperSonics and the Chicago Bulls. The deal moved Wallace to the power forward position with Zydrunas Ilgauskas as the starting center.

Following the trade, Wallace played in 22 regular season games (all starts). In 26.3 minutes, he averaged 4.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. In 72 total regular season games, Wallace averaged 4.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

Wallace had a Cavalier regular season high of 12 points on February 24, 2008 against the Memphis Grizzlies, and had regular season Cavalier highs of 15 rebounds against the Charlotte Bobcats and four blocks against the Orlando Magic.

In the 2008 playoffs, Wallace played in 13 games (all starts) and averaged 3.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. He had his playoff high of 12 rebounds in Game 4 win against the Washington Wizards in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

On November 25, 2008, Wallace grabbed his 9,000th career rebound and blocked his 1,900th career shot.

Wallace is married to Chanda and is the father of two sons, Ben Jr. and Bryce, and one daughter, Baile, and currently lives in Moreland Hills, Ohio.

Wallace appeared on the cover of ESPN NBA 2K5. An inflatable basketball training aid of Wallace's likeness, called the Inflatable Defender, is manufactured by PlayAir Systems. His new sneaker, the Big Ben was released November 5, 2007 under Stephon Marbury's Starbury label and sold for $14.98 at Steve & Barry's stores.

He played for the US national team in the 2002 FIBA World Championship.

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Source : Wikipedia