5 most intense field altercations in recent memory


Basketball is a physical sport that involves a lot of contact. Since the NBA is arguably the best basketball league in the world, it does not lack physical skill and competitiveness. As we all know, players are ready to do anything to win in the NBA.

Unfortunately, there are instances where we see players getting carried away by their emotions. Some are annoyed by the garbage, while others lose their temper when an opposing player commits unnecessary harmful play. Whether intentional or not, there are just a few acts that can automatically heat things up in a game. More often than not, this usually results in a fight that can be ignored. However, in the worst case scenario, a badly managed fight can escalate into a nasty fight.

Brawls are relatively rare in the NBA. However, since the league is very competitive and emotions can get strong, they do happen. In fact, it can be argued that the worst brawl in professional sports history happened in the NBA in the form of Malice in the Palace, back in 2004. Fortunately, the two main games in that brawl are now on good terms. .

The league is relatively lenient when it comes to brawls, given that there hasn’t been a single player in history who has been banned for engaging in one. However, the league doesn’t hesitate to issue suspensions and fines if a player gets involved in a fight. It is no stranger to anyone that fights are a true demonstration of the lack of sportsmanship and professionalism. While they certainly add more drama to the competition, these brawls are ugly sights for the sport to see. For this piece, let’s take a look at the five most intense altercations on the pitch in recent memory.

NBA altercations (not really NBA brawls)

Myles Turner and Rudy Gobert (2021)

Although the NBA season is still in its early stages, spirits have already heated up. In a match between the Jazz and the Pacers on November 12, 2021, centers Rudy Gobert and Myles Turner engaged in a nasty fight during a heated fourth quarter. It should be noted that the two were the top contenders for Defensive Player of the Year last season, with Gobert ultimately winning him.

After Turner’s defensive game against Gobert, the center of Jazz kept the shorts of the center of the Pacers, which the latter did not appreciate.

At the post-game conference, Turner blamed Gobert, saying, “I thought it was a dirty game. When [Gobert] I pulled my shorts off, I wasn’t about to have this, so I had to defend myself in this situation.

The brawl ended with four mind-blowing ejections. Besides Gobert and Turner, Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles also got involved and were taken out of the game. Although neither of these players were suspended, the league imposed fines. Gobert was slapped with the heaviest fine of $ 35,000. On the other hand, Ingles was fined $ 30,000 and Mitchell $ 20,000. Turner was fined $ 25,000.

Luckily for Turner, his team managed to pull off a 111-100 victory over the Jazz. Additionally, Turner also managed to make it into the Pacers’ top five all-time block leaders in that same game.

LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart (2021)

Aside from the Pacers-Jazz competition, soon after another scuffle escalated dangerously. Surprisingly, this involved The king himself, LeBron James. In the third quarter between the Pistons and the Lakers, as Jerami Grant was making his free throws, James’ elbow connected with the head of Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart. As a result, Stewart engaged James in a brawl, the former even dramatically charging James, forcing arena security to intervene.

While Stewart claims James’s elbow was intentional, James has explained himself publicly.

In the post-game interview, James clarified, “I saw his comments today and he felt it was either intentional or it wasn’t an accident. The actual cut was on purpose to take her arm away from me, that part was on purpose, but the point of my hand hitting her face was not on purpose. You can literally go through a lot of games in the NBA where guys would chop off their arms or their hands trying to get rid of it. If you look at the game closely, he lost his balance a bit when I shot him and that’s how his head got into my hand. So it was not at all intentional. I’ve never been in this room, I’ve never tried to look for face contact like that… ”

After the game, the two players were not spared the suspensions of the officials of the league. Surprisingly, it was James’ first suspension in his career decorated with 1,583 games at the age of 36.

Serge Ibaka and Marquise Chriss (2019)

Serge Ibaka is a tough guy, which is why he is one of the best defensive centers in the league. Unfortunately, his tenacity got out of hand during a Raptors game against the Cavaliers. On March 12, 2019, Ibaka and Marquese Chriss punched each other. At the end of the third quarter, Ibaka failed to catch an all-field pass that saw the former NBA champion hit the bridge. However, it was Chriss’ words that rekindled Ibaka’s emotions, which led to a brawl. Fortunately, their shots failed to connect.

But despite the failure of their punches, the players could not avoid suspensions and fines. Chriss was slapped with a penalty of $ 22,000. However, Ibaka would receive a heavier sentence, since he was the instigator. He has also had past incidents which have seen him get into a fight with James Johnson. Ibaka had to miss three games and paid a hefty fine of $ 448,000.

Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns (2019)

Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns have one of the best rivalries of the modern age. These two elite centers are simply more skilled than ever, and watching them compete against each other is a pleasure to watch. However, this rivalry escalated into a nasty fight on the pitch.

In the third quarter which saw the Timberwolves knocked out by the Sixers, Embiid and Kat started to get physical after the two battled in the backcourt. The players and coaches of both teams had to intervene to separate the two big men.

Embiid is known for his bashing. He’s no stranger to playing mind games against his clashes, including KAT, proclaimed by Embiid after the game.

Both Embiid and KAT were kicked out of the match. However, their fight eventually spilled over onto social media. For this reason, the league took immediate action by suspending the two elite centers for two games.

Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo, Brandon Ingram (2018)

Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo are two of the best pointers in the game today. However, it would be safe to say that these two are not friends. CP3 and Rondo have had an ox dating back to 2008, when CP3 was selected over the newly crowned Celtics champion for the Olympic list.

Since then, the two have been bitter about each other’s greatness. Sadly, tensions peaked in 2018, when the Lakers hosted the Rockets at Staples Center. Rondo and CP3 came to blows, after Brandon Ingram fouled James Harden and disrespected the referee.

The league viewed this incident as unacceptable behavior. Because of this, Ingram was suspended for four games and had to forgo $ 158,817 in salary. On the other hand, CP3 also had to suffer the consequences for throwing punches and poking Rondo. He must have missed two games and paid the heaviest fine of the three at $ 491,781. Rondo had to pay $ 186,206 for throwing punches and spitting in CP3’s face. He also had to miss three games.

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