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(Videos) 30 Biggest NBA Fights of All Time

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(Videos) 30 Biggest NBA Fights of All Time
(Videos) 30 Biggest NBA Fights of All Time

Basketball is a physical and competitive sport, and sometimes tempers flare and lead to fights on the court. Throughout the history of the NBA, there have been various physical altercations that even escalated into an all-out brawl. Here are 30 of the biggest NBA fights of all time, ranked from least to most intense.

Kevin Garnett head-butts Dwight Howard (2015): The two big men got into a heated exchange after Garnett fouled Howard in the first quarter. Garnett then head-butted Howard near his mouth, which prompted Howard to push him back. Garnett was ejected and suspended for one game, while Howard was fined $15,000.

Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller (1993): The two star guards had a fierce rivalry that culminated in a fistfight in the 1992-93 season. After Miller scored on a put-back and shoved Jordan, the latter chased him down the court and confronted him nose to nose. The two threw punches at each other before being separated. Jordan was suspended for one game and fined $10,000, while Miller was fined $6,000.

Draymond Green and Jordan Poole (2019): The two teammates got into a physical scuffle during a practice session after Green appeared to be trash-talking Poole. Poole shoved Green, who retaliated with a punch that knocked Poole down. The two were separated by their coaches and teammates. No suspensions were handed out, but Warriors coach Steve Kerr described the situation as the biggest crisis the team had faced.

Larry Bird and Julius Erving (1984): The two legends had a heated confrontation in a regular season game that turned into a brawl. After Bird scored over Erving and taunted him, Erving grabbed Bird by the neck and threw a punch at him. Both benches cleared and several players joined the fight. Bird and Erving were ejected and fined $7,500 each.

New York Knicks-Chicago Bulls Brawl (1994): The two Eastern Conference rivals had a tense playoff series that erupted in a melee in Game 3. After Knicks guard Derek Harper fouled Bulls guard Jo Jo English, the two exchanged words and shoved each other near the sideline. The fight spilled into the stands and involved several players and coaches from both teams. Harper and English were ejected and suspended for two games each, while nine other players were fined.

Kevin McHale vs. Kurt Rambis (1984): The hard foul by McHale on Rambis in Game 4 of the NBA Finals sparked a bi-coastal war between the Celtics and the Lakers. McHale clotheslined Rambis as he was going for a layup, sending him tumbling to the floor. Rambis got up and charged at McHale, but was restrained by his teammates. Both teams got involved in a scuffle that lasted for several minutes. McHale was only called for a personal foul, but the incident ignited the rivalry between the two teams.

Rudy Tomjanovich vs. Kermit Washington (1977): One of the most brutal punches in NBA history occurred when Washington of the Lakers hit Tomjanovich of the Rockets in the face during a brawl. Tomjanovich was running towards the fight to break it up, but Washington mistook him for an aggressor and swung his fist at him. Tomjanovich suffered a fractured skull, broken jaw, broken nose, and leaked spinal fluid from the blow. He nearly died from his injuries and his career was never the same. Washington was suspended for 60 games and fined $10,000.

Charles Barkley vs. Shaquille O’Neal (1999): The two Hall of Famers had a long-standing feud that boiled over in a regular season game between the Rockets and the Lakers. After O’Neal dunked over Barkley and elbowed him in the chest, Barkley threw the ball at O’Neal’s head. O’Neal then threw a punch at Barkley, who tackled him to the ground. Both players were ejected and suspended for one game each.

Robert Horry vs. Steve Nash (2007): The Spurs-Suns playoff series was marred by a controversial incident in Game 4, when Horry of the Spurs hip-checked Nash of the Suns into the scorer’s table in the final minute. Nash’s teammates rushed to his defense and a scuffle ensued. Horry was ejected and suspended for two games, while Nash was not penalized. However, two Suns players, Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw, were suspended for one game each for leaving the bench during the altercation, which gave the Spurs an advantage in the series.

Chris Paul vs. Rajon Rondo (2018): The two point guards had a history of bad blood that exploded in a game between the Rockets and the Lakers. After Rondo allegedly spit on Paul, Paul poked Rondo in the face, which led to Rondo throwing a punch at Paul. Paul retaliated with a punch of his own, and both players were separated by their teammates. Lakers forward Brandon Ingram also joined the fray and threw a punch at Paul. Paul was suspended for two games, Rondo for three games, and Ingram for four games.

Alonzo Mourning vs. Larry Johnson (1998): The two former teammates had a bitter feud that resulted in a brawl in Game 4 of the Knicks-Heat playoff series. After Johnson and Mourning exchanged words and shoves, Mourning threw a punch at Johnson, who responded with a punch of his own. Both players were ejected and suspended for one game each, along with Knicks center Patrick Ewing and Heat center P.J. Brown, who left the bench during the fight.

Dennis Rodman vs. Frank Brickowski (1996): The notorious Rodman had many run-ins with opponents, but one of his most memorable was with Brickowski of the Sonics in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. After Rodman elbowed Brickowski in the face, Brickowski retaliated by pushing Rodman to the floor. Rodman then kicked Brickowski in the groin, which led to both players being ejected. Rodman was fined $20,000, while Brickowski was fined $5,000.

Kobe Bryant vs. Chris Childs (2000): The two guards had a heated exchange in a regular season game between the Lakers and the Knicks. After Bryant elbowed Childs in the throat, Childs pushed Bryant in the chest and then hit him with a two-piece punch to the face. Bryant swung back at Childs, but missed. Both players were ejected and suspended for one game each.

Charles Oakley vs. Charles Barkley (1996): The two enforcers had a history of animosity that came to a head in a preseason game between the Knicks and the Rockets. After Barkley fouled Oakley hard, Oakley shoved Barkley in the back and then punched him in the face. Both players were ejected and fined $10,000 each.

Gilbert Arenas vs. Javaris Crittenton (2009): One of the most infamous incidents in NBA history occurred when Arenas and Crittenton of the Wizards brought guns into the locker room after a dispute over a card game. According to reports, Arenas laid out four guns on a table and told Crittenton to pick one, while Crittenton pulled out his own gun and pointed it at Arenas. The situation was defused by their teammates, but both players were suspended for the rest of the season and faced legal charges.

Carmelo Anthony vs. Mardy Collins (2006): The Nuggets-Knicks game turned ugly when Collins of the Knicks flagrantly fouled J.R. Smith of the Nuggets in the final minute. Smith got up and confronted Collins, which led to a brawl involving several players from both teams. Anthony of the Nuggets threw a punch at Collins, who fell to the floor. Anthony then ran away from the scene as other players chased him. Anthony was suspended for 15 games, Smith for 10 games, Collins for six games, and seven other players for various lengths.

Rick Mahorn vs. Bill Laimbeer (1989): The two former teammates had a physical altercation in a regular season game between the Pistons and the 76ers. After Laimbeer fouled Mahorn hard, Mahorn pushed Laimbeer to the ground and then punched him in the face. Both players were ejected and fined $5,000 each.

Shaquille O’Neal vs. Brad Miller (2002): The Lakers-Kings rivalry reached a boiling point when O’Neal of the Lakers swung his arm at Miller of the Kings after a missed shot in overtime. O’Neal missed Miller’s head but hit his teammate Vlade Divac instead. Miller then shoved O’Neal from behind, sparking a brawl that involved several players and coaches. O’Neal was suspended for three games and fined $15,000, while Miller received a one-game suspension and a $7,500 fine.

Rick Mahorn vs. Bill Laimbeer (1989): The two former teammates had a physical altercation in a regular season game between the Pistons and the 76ers. After Laimbeer fouled Mahorn hard, Mahorn pushed Laimbeer to the ground and then punched him in the face. Both players were ejected and fined $5,000 each.

Charles Barkley vs. Shaquille O’Neal (1999): The two Hall of Famers had a long-standing feud that boiled over in a regular season game between the Rockets and the Lakers. After O’Neal dunked over Barkley and elbowed him in the chest, Barkley threw the ball at O’Neal’s head. O’Neal then threw a punch at Barkley, who tackled him to the ground. Both players were ejected and suspended for one game each.

Robert Horry vs. Steve Nash (2007): The Spurs-Suns playoff series was marred by a controversial incident in Game 4, when Horry of the Spurs hip-checked Nash of the Suns into the scorer’s table in the final minute. Nash’s teammates rushed to his defense and a scuffle ensued. Horry was ejected and suspended for two games, while Nash was not penalized. However, two Suns players, Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw, were suspended for one game each for leaving the bench during the altercation, which gave the Spurs an advantage in the series.

Chris Paul vs. Rajon Rondo (2018): The two point guards had a history of bad blood that exploded in a game between the Rockets and the Lakers. After Rondo allegedly spit on Paul, Paul poked Rondo in the face, which led to Rondo throwing a punch at Paul. Paul retaliated with a punch of his own, and both players were separated by their teammates. Lakers forward Brandon Ingram also joined the fray and threw a punch at Paul. Paul was suspended for two games, Rondo for three games, and Ingram for four games.

Alonzo Mourning vs. Larry Johnson (1998): The two former teammates had a bitter feud that resulted in a brawl in Game 4 of the Knicks-Heat playoff series. After Johnson and Mourning exchanged words and shoves, Mourning threw a punch at Johnson, who responded with a punch of his own. Both players were ejected and suspended for one game each, along with Knicks center Patrick Ewing and Heat center P.J. Brown, who left the bench during the fight.

Dennis Rodman vs. Frank Brickowski (1996): The notorious Rodman had many run-ins with opponents, but one of his most memorable was with Brickowski of the Sonics in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. After Rodman elbowed Brickowski in the face, Brickowski retaliated by pushing Rodman to the floor. Rodman then kicked Brickowski in the groin, which led to both players being ejected. Rodman was fined $20,000, while Brickowski was fined $5,000.

Kobe Bryant vs. Chris Childs (2000): The two guards had a heated exchange in a regular season game between the Lakers and the Knicks. After Bryant elbowed Childs in the throat, Childs pushed Bryant in the chest and then hit him with a two-piece punch to the face. Bryant swung back at Childs, but missed. Both players were ejected and suspended for one game each.

Charles Oakley vs. Charles Barkley (1996): The two enforcers had a history of animosity that came to a head in a preseason game between the Knicks and the Rockets. After Barkley fouled Oakley hard, Oakley shoved Barkley in the back and then punched him in the face. Both players were ejected and fined $10,000 each.

Gilbert Arenas vs. Javaris Crittenton (2009): One of the most infamous incidents in NBA history occurred when Arenas and Crittenton of the Wizards brought guns into the locker room after a dispute over a card game. According to reports, Arenas laid out four guns on a table and told Crittenton to pick one, while Crittenton pulled out his own gun and pointed it at Arenas. The situation was defused by their teammates, but both players were suspended for the rest of the season and faced legal charges.

Carmelo Anthony vs. Mardy Collins (2006): The Nuggets-Knicks game turned ugly when Collins of the Knicks flagrantly fouled J.R. Smith of the Nuggets in the final minute. Smith got up and confronted Collins, which led to a brawl involving several players from both teams. Anthony of the Nuggets threw a punch at Collins, who fell to the floor. Anthony then ran away from the scene as other players chased him. Anthony was suspended for 15 games, Smith for 10 games, Collins for six games, and seven other players for various lengths2.

Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks Brawl (1994): The two teams had a heated playoff series that erupted in a melee in Game 6. After Nuggets guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf was fouled hard by Knicks guard Derek Harper, Harper shoved Abdul-Rauf and then punched him in the face. Both benches cleared and several players joined the fight. Harper and Abdul-Rauf were ejected and suspended for two games each, while eight other players were fined.

Malice at the Palace (2004): The most notorious brawl in NBA history occurred when the Pacers and the Pistons clashed in a regular season game. After Ben Wallace of the Pistons shoved Ron Artest of the Pacers in the final minute, Artest lay down on the scorer’s table while Wallace pursued him. A fan then threw a cup of beer at Artest, who jumped into the stands and attacked the fan. Several other players and fans got involved in the chaos, which spilled onto the court and lasted for several minutes. Nine players were suspended for a total of 146 games, with Artest receiving a record 86-game ban. Five players and five fans also faced criminal charges

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