Jonathan Abrams of Grantland has a huge recap with comments from several of the players, media and others at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Nov. 19, 2004, when a cup of beer ruined the Indiana Pacers. There are so many great quotes I could excerpt, so just go read the whole thing, but these comments were among the ones that stood out to me:
Stephen Jackson (guard/forward, Pacers): [Toward] the end of the game, I recall somebody on the team told Ron, “You can get one now.” I heard it. I think somebody was shooting a free throw. Somebody said to Ron, “You can get one now,” meaning you can lay a foul on somebody who he had beef with in the game.
Ben Wallace (forward/center, Pistons): He told me he was going to hit me, and he did it. That was just one of those things. It happened in the heat of the battle.
Watching that game, it was pretty clear that things were going to escalate. I’m not shocked at all that Artest’s foul was premeditated.