In stressful circumstances, anger is a common feeling to show, and professional sports, like the NBA, are no exception. In the NBA, there have been many occasions where players, coaches, and even fans have shown anger when under pressure.
Although the NBA has seen a decline in the number of brawls on basketball courts. The league and its offices have done a great job of appropriately punishing players who fight on the floor and discouraging players from committing such acts. Of course, battles still break out, but participants are much more cautious before losing their composure and attacking a rival.
Keeping this in mind let us look at the top 5 angry moments in the history of the NBA.
● The Malice at the Palace
The Malice at the Palace was a violent brawl that took place on November 19, 2004, at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan, during a game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons. With just under a minute remaining to play and the Pacers comfortably leading, the fight broke out. Ben Wallace of the Pistons shoved Pacers forward Ron Artest after he committed a hard charge, which led to an altercation between players from the two teams. When a fan threw a drink at Artest, things rapidly got out of hand. Artest then charged into the crowd and attacked the fan. A brawl between players, spectators, and stadium security ensued after additional Pacers players followed Artest into the stands.
● New York Knicks-Chicago Bulls Brawl
For the majority of the 1990s, the NBA playoffs featured a fight between the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls. The activity would get underway at the three-point line with Derek Harper of the Knicks and Jo Jo English of the Bulls. After the two players briefly separated, the two got into an altercation, and things rapidly got out of hand. As the action developed, players and officials from both teams rushed to watch Harper and English square off.
● Knicks-Nuggets Brawl
On December 16, 2006, while the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets were playing at Madison Square Garden in New York City, a brawl between the two teams took place. After Nuggets guard J.R. Smith, who was driving to the hoop for a layup, was fouled hard by Knicks guard Mardy Collins in the final seconds of the game, a brawl broke out. Jared Jeffries of the Knicks approached Smith as he was on the ground, and the two players shoved each other. The fight then included several players from both teams and spread to the spectators. Former Knicks player Carmelo Anthony of the Nuggets punched Nate Robinson of the Knicks, who had leaped onto Anthony's back during the altercation.
● Lakers-Rocket Brawl
On October 20, 2018, while the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets were playing at Staples Center in Los Angeles, a fight between the two teams broke out. After Rockets guard James Harden hit a layup and Lakers forward Brandon Ingram fouled him in the fourth quarter, the fight broke out. Chris Paul, a Rockets player who had defended Harden, was then shoved by Ingram. Rajon Rondo, the Lakers point guard, approached Paul and punched him, to which Paul returned the favor by punching back. Following the addition of Rockets and Lakers players, the altercation moved to the bench and involved coaches and referees.
● Michael Jordan vs Reggie Miller
Michael Jordan was the lone defender following the Pacers as they went on a fast break. Reggie Miller arrived to follow up on Pooh Richardson's failed transition layup and flush the rebound. Jordan was returning to the floor when Miller landed and shoved him hard as he approached from underneath the hoop. This infuriated Jordan, who rushed Miller as the two collided on the floor, screaming in each other's faces. Jordan punched, but it did no serious harm as Bulls and Pacers staff intervened to separate the two.
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