Ron Artest is now friends with the fan that incited the Malice at the Palace
Keywords: ron artest, detroit
It seems like so long ago that Ron Artest was a member of the Pacers and the Detroit Pistons were the defending champs. For those who somehow don’t know what happened in 2004 when these two teams met, I’ll treat you to a brief history lesson. The Pistons and Pacers were in the midst of a heated rivalry game early in the NBA season, and as things winded down Artest got into a shoving match with Ben Wallace of the Pistons. This eventually led to an all-out brawl with a fan tossing a drink at Artest, which in turn led to Artest going into the stands to attack that crowd member.
Now, somehow, Artest and the drink thrower are friends. The mans name is John Green, and on an important note he says it was a Diet Coke and not a beer that he flung at Artest. Here is how Artest says the reconciliation unfolded in an article on Deadspin.
“What happened was, when I got into the brawl in Detroit, I was transitioning into a different type of person, that person that I’ve become, but that game had so many emotions involved. So I get suspended and I think the whole world hates me and I’m walking around not wanting to talk to anybody. Then my psychologist, I was talking to her about a few things and I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to reach out to John.’ So I went on Twitter and said, ‘Anybody that can find me this guy’s number or information, I’ll take you out to lunch.’ … Somebody from Chicago found his number … so I called him and his wife picks up the phone. And I said, ‘Hey, this is Ron Artest. I’d like to speak to John.’ … Then I spoke to John and he answered the phone like he knew I was going to call.”
The interview goes on to show that Ron and John have nothing but good things to say about each other. The two actually plan to work on some sort of project that helps reach out to people with anger issues… although somehow I think Ron Artest is the last person anybody should be talking about life issues with.