Sports | July 22, 2021 11:38 am

“Malice at the Palace” Is Getting the Netflix Documentary Treatment

A new docuseries, "Untold," will examine pivotal moments in the world of sports

Ron Artest
Ex-Indiana Pacers Ron Artest in action vs Detroit Pistons in Auburn Hills.
Manny Millan/Sports Illustrated via Getty

On a November night in 2004, a basketball game broke out before one of the ugliest in-game incidents American sports has ever seen.

Already upset following an altercation with Detroit Pistons All-Star center Ben Wallace, then-Indiana Pacers forward Ron Artest, who went on to be called Metta World Peace and now goes by Metta Sandiford-Artest, went into the stands after a drink was thrown at his head by a fan.

A massive brawl between fans and players on both the Pacers and Pistons broke out in an incident that led to nine players being suspended for a total of 146 games (Sandiford-Artest got 73) which has since become known as The Malice at the Palace.

The infamous bench-clearing incident at the Palace of Auburn Hills, which indirectly led the NBA to institute its pregame dress code, will be the subject of the first episode of a new Netflix docuseries that will examine pivotal moments in the world of sports and attempt to expose angles that weren’t previously publicized.

Premiering on August 10, UNTOLD will run for five weeks, with each episode clocking in at around 80 minutes, according to The Associated Press.

“We chose these stories by asking ourselves this question: ‘Is this the single most important thing that happened in this person’s life?’” directors and co-executive producers Chapman Way and Maclain Way said in a statement. “What we’ve found doing documentaries is if you’re sitting down with someone and the event that you are interviewing them about was the most pivotal and important thing that happened to them, you are going to walk away with really fascinating insights into their lives, that have a sense of a narrative built in — a beginning, middle and end.”

In an interview last year, Sandiford-Artest said he is friends with the fan who threw beer on him at The Palace, John Green, and referred to him as a “cool guy.” 

“To him and me, it was like a fight. He threw something at me, we fight and it was over,” he said. “To the public, it was a black eye on the sport, which I get. To me, it was just an incident I had with one person.”

Per Sandiford-Artest, Green actually hit him with the cup so he could win a $50 bet.

“A lot of people don’t know about the bet,” he said. “When the guy raised his hand. When I got hit with the cup and I ran into the stands. That’s the only person I saw. I thought, that’s got to be him. There was no other reason for him to be raising his hand. But he wasn’t the one that hit me. It was the other guy who was next to him. The reason he raised his hand was because he bet John Green who hit me with the cup $50 that he could hit me. So when John hit me, the guy that raised his hand lost the bet.”