This past Monday, a little old school made a guest appearance on the NBA stage. The Brooklyn Nets were playing the Houston Rockets, when Kevin Garnett head-butted Dwight Howard during the first quarter when Howard had done nothing to really instigate the altercation. Howard, who has unfortunately become the league’s favorite whipping boy, was shoved initially by Garnett even though he had done nothing to warrant the shove. In response, Howard then shoved Garnett in the chest as well, so that he would not perpetuate the fake-tough-guy image that he has acquired over the past few years. Garnett then being Garnett, threw the ball at Howard’s back and went as far as to head-butt him in the mouth. This little scuffle eventually led to Garnett being ejected, and subsequently being suspended, while Howard got a technical foul and a fine.
By no means was this even something that would have resulted in an ejection in the ‘80’s, but it’s the most physicality that the NBA has seen in quite some time. The NBA has cracked down on contact as a whole with its new rules and regulations, but that does not mean that players do not turn into gladiators at times. You don’t make it to the NBA without some pride, machismo, and a competitive spirit, so when another player is trying to intimidate you, the altercation can quickly escalate into something beyond basketball.
The following list is a compilation of some of the worst NBA fights that we have ever seen on a NBA floor.
12 Kobe Bryant vs. Chris Childs
11 Knicks and Nuggets Brawl
10 Marcus Camby vs. Danny Ferry
9 Shawn Bradley Body Slammed
8 Kermit Washington Punches Rudy Tomjanovich
7 Charles Barkley vs. Bill Laimbeer
6 Doug Christie Uppercuts Rick Fox
5 Tree Rollins Bites Danny Ainge
4 Shaq vs. Barkley
3 Alonzo Mourning vs. Larry Johnson
2 Larry Bird vs. Dr. J
1 Malice at the Palace
On November 19th, 2004, the worst brawl in NBA history took place at the Palace. And this time, it not only involved players, but it also involved fans. It was late in the fourth quarter when Ben Wallace was fouled hard by Ron Artest as he went up for a layup. Wallace then retaliated and pushed Artest really hard, which led to both benches getting up and exchanging words. But none of these reasons are why the Malice at the Palace will go down as the nastiest fight in NBA history.
During the scuffle, Artest laid down on the scorer’s table and that’s when all hell broke loose. A fan threw a cup of water at Artest and he charged up the stands like a bull out of the gate. This eventually led to other fans getting involved, Pacers getting involved, and Pistons getting involved in what escalated to the most infamous brawl in NBA history.
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