Basketball fans have seen this show before.
The last time, it was much more serious; this time, it was more funny than anything else.
Metta World Peace — formerly Ron Artest in his earlier NBA days with the Indiana Pacers — made a return to Detroit with the Big3 on Friday night in the 3-on-3 pro basketball league.
Peace, known for the "Malice at the Palace" brawl against the Pistons on Nov. 19, 2004, made another spectacle of himself. This time, he was ejected from the game and kicked a ball in the stands at Little Caesars Arena after he thought officials missed a foul call.
“(The officials) missed the call and they were trying to get it situated,” said Killer 3’s captain Chauncey Billups, a former Piston. “Ron just stole the basketball from the referee — and kicked it. I told him in the locker room: if you were going to kick it, you should have put it in the top row – it was a weak kick.”
The referees assessed two technical fouls and ejected Peace, within a minute or two after the game began. Peace’s team, the Killer 3’s, lost to Trilogy, 52-39.
Artest was suspended for the remainder of the season (73 regular-season games) and all of the playoffs for his involvement in the melee with fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
This time, the situation was a little more lighthearted.
“He can’t control himself when he comes in this city,” Trilogy’s Al Harrington joked. “At least it was a ball this time and not a fan.”