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Metta Sandiford-Artest became friends with a fan that started the "Malice at the Palace"

Artest learned not to hold grudges, and the two speak to this day

'Malice at the Palace' is one of the worst incidents in NBA history that involved direct confrontation between players and fans themselves. The whole thing escalated quickly after a fan threw a beverage on Ron Artest, who was lying on the scorer’s table. 

Hot-headed Artest didn’t wait a single second as he rushed to the stands to face the fan. After a couple of minutes of complete chaos, cooler heads prevailed, and of course, a lot of players were ejected and suspended.

Fast forward to today

Eighteen years have passed since the incident, and what is cool is that the former Pacers forward, now known as Metta Sandiford-Artest, became friends with the guy who threw the cup. John Green, the cup-thrower, is actually close to Artest, and in an interview, Artest said they speak quite often.

“The guy that actually started the whole thing that threw the beer, he and Ron speak daily. They keep in touch, and they’re really good friends. … I don’t know how they’re still friends. It’s amazing. But Ron’s that type of guy, though, you never know what to expect from Ron.”

Stephen Jackson, via ESPN’s The Jump.

Artest assaulted the wrong fan instead of Green, who instigated the whole incident. After the game, Artest received a suspension without pay for the rest of the season, 86 games. His friend Green got sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years probation.

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“He said that he was sorry that … the whole thing embarrassed him as it did me. It’s not like it’s not always going to be known as the brawl, but maybe we could take something good out of it.”

John Green, via ESPN’s The Jump.

"Give me my $3 million back"

Stephen Jackson also received a 30-game suspension by the NBA and was not so happy about making friends with a guy that essentially cost him a lot of money because of all the fines he had to pay and the reputation he lost along the way.

Give me my $3 million back, and maybe we can talk about being friends,”

Stephen Jackson, via ESPN’s The Jump.

Artest said he was the one who reached out to Green initially, and to both of their surprise, they immediately clicked as people. Even though he was a hot head early in his career, Artest realized there is no point in holding grudges, and this is why he decided to get in touch, and his call ended in a relationship between the two.

"I don't like holding grudges, and this life is bigger than getting hit by a couple of beers, getting suspended, and losing tens of millions of dollars," Artest said via Rich Elsen Show. "Things happen, and we move on."

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