Johnson gets probation for role in Palace brawl

Updated: October 7, 2005, 1:50 PM ET
Associated Press

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. -- Anthony Johnson of the Indiana Pacers was sentenced to a year of probation Friday after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge for his role in one of the worst brawls in U.S. sports history.

 Anthony Johnson

He was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service, directed to attend counseling and fined $250.

Teammates Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal, David Harrison and Stephen Jackson received similar sentences last month for their participation in the Nov. 19 fighting that broke out during a game with the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

A no-contest plea in Michigan is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.

Several fans also were charged in the brawl that started after Pistons center Ben Wallace shoved Artest following a hard foul.

After the players were separated, Artest was doused with a beverage and rushed into the stands after the man he thought had thrown the drink. Some teammates joined him in the stands and clashed with fans on the court.

Artest was suspended for the rest of the season, Jackson for 30 games, O'Neal for 25 and Johnson for five. The league did not suspend Harrison.

An arbitrator later reduced O'Neal's suspension to 15 games, and it was upheld in federal court.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press