Notable brawls in NBA history
Dec. 16, 2006
• The Knicks and Nuggets brawled at Madison Square Garden near the end of Denver's blowout win. Mardy Collins' hard foul on Denver's J.R. Smith sparked the fighting, and before the skirmishes began to cool, Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony landed a sucker-punch that led to a 15-game suspension. Commissioner David Stern came down hard on both teams, with Smith and New York's Nate Robinson drawing 10-game suspensions. Collins got six games, Knicks teammate Jared Jeffries got four and the Knicks' Jerome James and Denver's Nene were both penalized one game for leaving the bench area during the chaos. The teams also were fined $500,000. Curiously, Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, who had warned Anthony in the game's final minute not to go into the lane before the mayhem started, was not disciplined.
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 130 games (146 total games because Ron Artest also missed playoffs).
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 Portland's 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.
Jan. 15, 2001
• Marcus Camby was poked in the eye by Danny Ferry and was being restrained by his teammates when he lunged after Ferry and threw a windmill punch. The punch did not hit anybody, but Camby collided with Jeff Van Gundy as the coach jumped between them -- much like Van Gundy did in a fight between the Knicks' Larry Johnson and the Heat's Alonzo Mourning during the 1998 playoffs. Van Gundy ended up needing 12-15 stitches to close a cut above his left eye. Camby was suspended for 5 games and Ferry 1 game.
Nov. 10, 1995
• In an unprecedented move, the NBA suspends 16 players for fighting during the Pacers-Kings game in Indianapolis. Forward Dale Davis of the Pacers and Michael Smith of the Kings received the greatest penalties -- both received two-game suspensions without pay and $20,000 in fines. The pair fought with 2:43 left in the third quarter of the Kings' 119-95 victory. Kings center Duane Causewell was suspended for one game without pay and fined $7,500 because he left the bench and did not try to break up the bench-clearing fracas in which punches and choking took place. The 13 other players, including Pacers star Reggie Miller, received one-game suspensions and $2,500 fines for leaving the bench areas. The Kings penalized: Tyus Edney, Byron Houston, Sarunas Marciulionis, Olden Polynice, Lionel Simmons and Walt Williams. The Pacers penalized: Travis Best, Adrian Caldwell, Duane Ferrell, Fred Holberg, Mark Jackson, Miller and Dwayne Schintzius.
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.
March 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.
April 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. 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.
April 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 73 regular-season games (and later 13 playoff games) in 2004-05.
Longest suspensions in NBA history for on-court incidents
• 73 games -- Ron Artest, Indiana - the remainder of the season - for fighting with fans in the final minute of a game at Detroit on Nov. 19 (Nov. 21, 2004).
• 68 games -- Latrell Sprewell, Golden State - one year - after "physically assaulting" coach P.J. Carlesimo during a practice (Dec. 4, 1997). Arbitrator John Feerick overturned the Warriors' termination of Sprewell's contract and reduced his one-year suspension by five months, ending July 1, 1998.
• 30 games -- Stephen Jackson, Indiana, for fighting with fans in the final minute of a game at Detroit on Nov. 19 (Nov. 21, 2004)
• 26 games -- Kermit Washington, L.A. Lakers, 60 days for punching Houston's Rudy Tomjanovich (1977).
• 25 games -- Jermaine O'Neal, Indiana, for fighting with fans in the final minute of a game at Detroit on Nov. 19 (Nov. 21, 2004; suspension reduced by an arbitrator to 15 games)
• 15 games -- Carmelo Anthony, Denver, for punching New York's Mardy Collins in a game on Dec. 16 (Dec. 18, 2005).
GARDEN FIGHT FALLOUT
• Hill: Don't blame 'thugs' for fight
• Bucher: Melo walking dangerous line again
• Sheridan: Not so Stern penalty for Thomas
• Stein: Answering brawl questions
• Stein Blog: Way too easy on Isiah
• Sheridan: NBA to use experience to rule
• Stein Blog: Nuggets' Iverson plan
• Melo won't appeal, will serve suspension
• Northwest pulls mag featuring Anthony
• Karl calls Isiah 'a jerk'
• League looking into roles of Isiah, players
• Carmelo Anthony apologizes
• Notable brawls in NBA history
• Knicks' loss to Nuggets turns into free-for-all
• Allen Houston not surprised by penalties.
• Dan Patrick Show: Union president Billy Hunter discusses punishments.
• Karl blasts Isiah
• Daily Dish: Sheridan, Ford discuss brawl
• Reggie Miller: Isiah and Karl deserve suspensions
• Stephen A. Smith's take
• Karl says Isiah's actions 'despicable'
• Isiah issued warning before brawl
• Players fight at Madison Square Garden
• Sheridan analyzes brawl
• Stephen A. breaks down brawl
• Isiah Thomas discusses battle
• Nuggets react to situation
• Kiki Vandeweghe's take
• What do you think of the punishment?