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FAMOUS FIGHTS
10 prominent brawls in recent NBA history:
Nov. 19, 2004 One of the worst brawls in U.S. sports history took place near the end of the Indiana Pacers-Detroit Pistons game. Fans and players threw punches; spectators tossed a chair, beer, ice and popcorn. Nine players were suspended more than 140 games by the NBA for a fracas commissioner David Stern called "shocking, repulsive and inexcusable."
Dec. 20, 2002 After Portland's Rasheed Wallace hits a game-winning shot, a scrum breaks out between Golden State's Chris Mills and Portland's Bonzi Wells. Fans threw beer bottles at the Blazers as they left the court and Wallace tried to go after a fan who threw something at him. Mills tried to get into the Blazers' locker room afterward, and after being rebuffed, got a group of friends and parked his car in front of the Blazers' team bus. He was suspended three games, Wells was suspended for two, and Wallace was fined.
Jan. 12, 2002 Upset by a series of hard fouls under the basket, the Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal reacts to a flagrant foul by Chicago's Charles Oakley by trying to punch a nearby Brad Miller in the back of the head, but misses. Several players end up spilling into the crowd and all three players are suspended, including three games for O'Neal.
April 30, 1998 With one second left in a first-round playoff game between the Heat and Knicks, Larry Johnson shoves Miami's Alonzo Mourning and Mourning retaliates with a punch. Within seconds the two are swinging wildly at one another. As players and coaches race in to break it up, Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy ends up on the ground grabbing Mourning's leg while being dragged along the court by the much larger Mourning.
May 13, 1994 During a playoff game, JoJo English of the Bulls and Derek Harper of the Knicks start a bench-clearing fight that nearly ends up in the lap of commissioner David Stern, who happens to be sitting courtside at the game.
Mar. 24, 1993 Normally mild-mannered Suns guard Kevin Johnson slugs New York's Doc Rivers, precipitating a bench-clearing brawl that gets uglier when an out-of-uniform Greg Anthony races in to begin throwing haymakers at Johnson. Anthony is suspended five games for his role in the fracas.
Apr. 20, 1990 Although Detroit's Bill Laimbeer was involved in many famous fights -- including throwdowns with Larry Bird, Bob Lanier and Robert Parish -- his most famous probably came in a playoff game against the 76ers in 1990. Laimbeer and Charles Barkley, two of the biggest, meanest players in the game, came to blows and were fined $20,000 for their actions -- the biggest fines in NBA history at the time.
Nov. 9, 1984 In an early-season showdown between Boston and Philadelphia, two legends who were normally on good terms -- Larry Bird and Julius Erving -- shocked fans when they exchanged words, pushes and shoves that lead to a bench-clearing brawl. Both players were fined $7,500.
Apr. 24, 1983 During a first-round playoff game between the Celtics and Hawks, Boston's Danny Ainge takes exception to a Tree Rollins elbow and tackles the Atlanta center. With both players on the ground, Rollins bites Ainge's finger, earning a five-game suspension.
Dec. 9, 1977 In the midst of a brawl involving the Lakers' Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Rockets' Kevin Kunnert, L.A.'s Kermit Washington wheels and delivers "The Punch", a crushing blow to the face of Houston's Rudy Tomjanovich. Tomjanovich suffered severe fractures of the face and skull and was hospitalized for weeks. Washington was suspended for 26 games, which was the longest suspension for on-court activity in NBA history until the suspension of Ron Artest for all of 2004-05.

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