AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Rick Carlisle, the head coach for the Indiana Pacers, has blamed lax security and the Detroit Pistons coaches for the Nov. 19 brawl in suburban Detroit.
"I think Detroit is very understaffed security wise, having been there for two years," Carlisle said in a statement to an NBA security official that was quoted in a 871-page police report of the incident, obtained by the Detroit News.
"This whole thing could have been prevented but the Detroit coaching staff did not get involved. They did not properly remove (Pistons forward) Ben (Wallace) from the floor. Ben threw his towel and that was the cue to start throwing things at Ron (Artest)."
Carlisle, the former head coach for the Pistons from 2001-03, was among more than 60 players, team officials and announcers that spoke to officials about the melee at the The Palace of Auburn Hills.