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Sparks Watch Day 26: Malice in the Palice Part Two

The Sparks were part of one of the most unfortunate moments in WNBA history when they were part of a brawl against the Detroit Shock on July 21, 2008.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

In the closing seconds of the game, rookie forward Candace Parker and Shock forward Plenette Pierson were tangled up in a free throw box out and fell. I'll let the video show the rest:

Ultimately, Pierson and Parker earned suspensions, as well as many other players on both teams. Shock assistant coach Rick Mahorn also earned a suspension for escalating the conflict as he tried to keep Lisa Leslie away from the conflict, but it appeared to Sparks players that he pushed her away as she fell down, which made things uglier.

On top of that, Cheryl Ford tore her ACL in the conflict and missed the rest of the season. Just a mess.

Before the brawl, there was a play where Parker's emotions were starting to get the best of her when Ford got a rebound from her. It's at the 6:45 mark of this video.

The event was ultimately called Palice in the Malice II as the Sparks-Shock brawl occurred at the same place as the original version on November 19, 2004 between the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers which started form a hard foul Pacers forward Ron Artest (now Metta World Peace) committed on Pistons center Ben Wallace which caused a similar scuffle. But then a fan threw a drink at Artest, and things really took off from there...

In terms of NBA significance logistically, new security measures were taken so more ushers have to be between players and fans than in the past. And there is an NBA Fan Code of Conduct which is shown somewhere on every NBA team's site. Here's one on the Minnesota Timberwolves' site.

The WNBA brawl fortunately never had fans throwing beers or chairs at players, or players throwing punches at fans. But here's another layer to this. Both Sparks head coach Michael Cooper and Shock head coach Bill Laimbeer both were former NBA players on the Lakers and Pistons respectively, and the Lakers and Pistons have had a big rivalry and played in the 1988 and 1989 NBA Finals against each other.

To me, the Sparks-Shock brawl is another reason why I don't like seeing post game handshakes. After the end of a heated game, the last thing you would want to see is players interacting with each other and I hate to say it but it wouldn't surprise me to see another brawl between teams in that handshake.

That is on top of the perception that a post game handshake after every game, including during the middle of a playoff series, looks amateurish. This is a professional league, and it's not "just a game."

And by the way, our countdown for the Warriors to buy the Sparks is at T-minus SIX DAYS.

What are your thoughts on the 2008 Sparks-Shock brawl? And do you think that post game handshakes should stop because there will be a risk that another brawl happens again? Speak in the comments below.