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Metta World-Peace only 'issue' with Ben Wallace had nothing to do with Malice at the Palace: 'Ben took that one'

Metta Sandiford-Artest admits seeing Ben Wallace claim the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2005 was bittersweet
Metta Sandiford-Artest's only 'issue' with Ben Wallace had nothing to do with Malice at the Palace: 'Ben took that one'

In an appearance with Yahoo Sport's Chris Hayne's podcast last year, Sandiford-Artest came clean about his thoughts on Wallace

On November 19, 2004, the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons became part of what many consider one of the worst nights in NBA history- The Malice at the Palace.

It can be recalled that the infamous brawl started when former Piston's big man Ben Wallace shoved then Pacers bruiser Ron Artest, now Metta Sandiford-Artest, after a foul in the dying seconds of the game. All hell broke loose afterward, and even the crowd got involved.

The stigma is still there for some, but for Sandiford-Artest, it's all water under the bridge.

Metta only has one issue with Ben

In an appearance with Yahoo Sport's Chris Hayne's podcast last year, Sandiford-Artest came clean about his thoughts on Wallace. According to the four-time NBA All-Defensive Team member, contrary to what many believe, they are actually "cool" with each other as Wallace wasn't the one who started the brawl.

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However, his lone "issue" with "Big Ben" was that he felt like the Pistons legend stole the Defensive Player of the Year award from him that year.

"Ben didn't tell that fan to throw something at me," Sandiford-Artest explained. "He's cool with me. I don't have an issue with him, except that he was in the way of my trophies. I was trying to get Defensive Player of the Year and MVP. I felt like that was going to be my second (DPOY) in a row, then I got suspended. Ben took that one."

Sandiford-Artest shed further light on the subject during a separate podcast appearance. Apparently, he is still envious of Wallace to this day, and apart from copping the Defensive Player of the Year award twice in a row, Sandiford-Artest also wanted to go down in history as the "best wing defender ever."

Needless to say, he felt that he could've cemented his name in that category had Wallace hadn't been so great defensively as well during the same period.

"I enjoy the fact that somebody that loved defense so much is getting honored, and I also envy it because it's something I wanted. Like I wanted to be the best defender in the league. I wanted to be the best wing defender ever."

A peaceful clash

In a Los Angeles Lakers game last season, Sandiford-Artest and Wallace crossed paths in public nearly two decades since the Malice at the Palace. Surprisingly, the pair showed nothing but love for one another and even posed for the camera.

Seeing Sandiford-Artest and "Big Ben" show the utmost respect proves that they have already moved on from everything. More importantly, it shows that regardless of the negative image they have instilled in the minds of some NBA fans, the truth is that they are still commendable sportsmen after all is said and done. 

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