On November 19, 2004, the Indiana Pacers traveled to the Palace of Auburn Hills to face the Detroit Pistons. Tensions were high the entire game, as both teams pitted their gritty, physical, defense-first style against each other.
Ultimately, the Pacers ran out to a 15-point lead near the end of the fourth quarter, and the game was winding down when Ron Artest a.k.a. Metta World Peace laid down a hard foul on Pistons big man Ben Wallace. Wallace and Artest got into it, and the benches were cleared as both teams were ready to come to blows. The situation was almost diffused, but then several drunken fans suddenly sparked a new, more violent brawl that saw Artest suspended for the rest of the season, Pacers forward Stephen Jackson suspended for 30 games, Pacers center Jermaine O'Neal suspended for 15 games, Wallace suspended for six games, and multiple felony charges laid against unruly fans.
Players fighting players. Players fighting fans. Fans fighting fans. This was the epitome of a sh*tshow, and is widely considered the most dismal moment in the NBA's 68-year history.