Four NBA players suspended indefinitely for brawl

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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Four National Basketball Association players have been suspended indefinitely for their actions during a brawl at the end of the Friday, November 19th game between the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers.

Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson of the Pacers and Ben Wallace of the Pistons learned of the length of their suspensions on Sunday. Ron Artest has been suspended for the rest of the season, Stephen Jackson for 30 games, Jermaine O'Neal for 25, and Ben Wallace for 6. Pacers guard Anthony Johnson received a 5 game suspension. In addition, Reggie Miller from Indiana, and Detroit Pistons Chauncey Billups, Elden Campbell and Derrick Coleman were each suspended one game for leaving their bench.

The brawl began with 45.9 seconds left in the game, as Ben Wallace shoved Ron Artest after a particularly hard foul by Artest. That was settled quickly, but a fan then threw a cup at Artest as the referees were handling the aftermath of the fight, and Artest went into the stands, and began throwing punches. Jackson then joined in and began to throw punches as well. Due to the brawl the game was called, and ended with 45.9 seconds left. The Pacers were ruled the winner.

Artest has had a history of suspensions before this incident. Last season he was suspended twice, once for leaving the bench during a fight, and once for elbowing Portland player Derek Anderson. He was suspended 5 times during the 2002-2003 season.