11 Most Bizarre Off-Court Confrontations in NBA History
Fights have been a part of basketball ever since the inception of the sport, but some of the most interesting confrontations come when players are nowhere near the court.
Whether it be bumping into each other at a bar, hunting one another down after the game or just giving your head coach a good choking at practice, NBA players have had a knack for getting into some weird situations with other NBA folks.
Sometimes it's just as simple as a little scrum; other times it goes above and beyond, and suddenly they've ruined some guy's $190 cake.
In the end, most of these end up being more funny than anything else, although there are some sad and downright strange confrontations that we've seen over the years.
Enjoy them as much as I did, and hope they keep doing weird stuff.
11. Carmelo Anthony Waits for Kevin Garnett
During the game, the two of them ended up getting into a shoving match, shouted at each other a bit and each earned a technical foul.
Normally, that would be that, but Carmelo wasn't having it.
Instead, after the game ended, Anthony first attempted to seek Garnett out at the Celtics' locker room, but he failed to get to KG.
Eventually, Anthony decided to wander over to the Celtics bus, hoping that Garnett would come out and have a few words with him, possibly even come to blows.
Alas, it ended how pretty much every other NBA beef ends these days: a lot of hot air, some tempers flaring and a whole lot of nothing.
It was strange nonetheless.
10. Shaq vs. Kobe
The two just couldn't get along when they were together on the Lakers. Initially a lot of the blame was placed on Kobe for the two breaking up, but over the years a bit has shifted over onto Shaq.
However, as the months and years passed by, the two would continue to lob insults at each other with it never really amounting to anything on the court.
After Shaq won his fourth NBA championship, and his first without Kobe, he was recorded giving out this now-infamous freestyle, taking shots at the pitifully three-ringed Kobe.
Of course, while the two traded verbal jabs in the media, all that ever happened was an on-court snub before games rather than shaking hands.
9. Chris Mills Fights Bonzi Wells
In an incident that showed us what Carmelo Anthony's tracking down Kevin Garnett could have amounted to, Chris Mills sought out Bonzi Wells after a game in 2002. What went down was downright crazy.
It all started during a game between the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers as Mills threw a punch at Wells during a brawl that started after the final buzzer.
Normally the news from the altercation would have been about Rasheed Wallace having to be restrained to keep him from attacking a fan who threw a wad of gum at him, but the story didn't end on the court.
Like Anthony, Mills went to find Wells in the visiting locker room, but he was restrained from getting in and continuing the fight.
Instead of leaving it all at that, Mills found Portland's team bus and parked his car in front of it. He and some of his friends got out of the car and challenged the Blazers to another fight while they were trying to leave.
Mills was suspended for three games.
8. DeMarcus Cousins' Year
Sometimes a guy has bad luck, other times a guy has a short temper and still other times a guy can put himself into bad situations.
It seems that DeMarcus Cousins is all three of those guys rolled into one.
Two of DeMarcus Cousins' suspensions this season have been counterproductive to revamping his negative image. He hit O.J. Mayo in the groin and got into an argument with Kings head coach Keith Smart.
However, his initial suspension of the season was downright strange.
Following a loss to the San Antonio Spurs, DeMarcus confronted Spurs color commentator Sean Elliott after the broadcast team had concluded their postgame show.
During the game, Cousins and Tim Duncan were going back and forth, Cousins barking at Duncan when he had the upper hand.
After Duncan sent a shot back at Cousins, however, Elliott went off on Cousins' trash talk.
That's why some humility is in order. You think you're dominating Tim Duncan, you get it stuffed right back in your face. Timmy doesn't like to talk trash. But if guys start talking mess to him, he's going to respond. All that trash talking was premature. I'm not about to let these guys off the hook. Young ballclub should learn from this. Don't start talking and flapping your gums against one of the greatest players ever. He's going to make you pay. Tell me who got the best of this exchange.
It was strange, but mostly because of Cousins' past, he was sent home for two games.
7. Latrell Sprewell Gets Grabby
We all know that Latrell Sprewell is a weird dude in general, but he took his weirdness to an entirely different level in 1997 when he had one of the NBA's most infamous confrontations with P.J. Carlesimo.
Sprewell, a budding star player at the time, was tired of Carlesimo's constant nagging, and the incident reportedly broke out after Carlesimo told him to "put a little mustard" on a pass.
Latrell decided the only course of action from there would be to choke the living daylights out of Carlesimo.
After teammates split the two up, Sprewell left, only to return 15 minutes later threatening to kill the head coach.
Perhaps more infamously, Sprewell had an interview with 60 Minutes in which he defended himself, saying, "I wasn't choking P.J. that hard. I mean, he could breathe."
Spree was suspended a total of 68 games, costing him more than $6 million and a shoe deal with Converse.
6. Zach Randolph vs. Kendrick Perkins
Sometimes, two big angry dudes are going to end up in a scuffle. It's impossible to avoid when two tempers flare.
That's just what happened earlier this season when Zach Randolph and Kendrick Perkins got themselves ejected from a game back in November.
The two were jawing at each other from across the lane during a free throw, Perkins threatening to meet Randolph at the bus after the game and Randolph responding justly, "I'll beat your ass."
After both were ejected, Perkins strangely sprinted off the court into the hallway, where he and Randolph eventually went on to get a bit more physical.
After Oklahoma City police broke them apart, there was a large slamming noise heard by the people in the postgame interview area.
Nothing really ever came of this whole ordeal. The strangest part was just how quickly and violently the entire thing escalated.
5. Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac
While some of these others can be marked down as legitimately hilarious or just groan-worthy confrontations, the falling-out between Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic was just downright sad.
For the entire story, I would recommend the documentary Once Brothers, as it gives the entire rundown of the situation, but I'll do my best to give it justice in the short amount of space that I have here.
Petrovic and Divac were both members of the Yugoslavian National Basketball Team that took Eastern Europe by storm and propelled them to the front of the national stage.
While Divac was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1989, Petrovic's rights were owned by the Portland Trail Blazers.
The two were great friends who helped each other cope with the transition into the NBA.
Once civil war broke out in Yugoslavia, however, their friendship began to weaken.
Petrovic was Croatian, while Divac is a Serb, putting them on opposite sides of the battle. Even though both were playing basketball in the United States, they could feel the pressure from back home.
They drifted apart and were openly cold to each other, all up until Petrovic's untimely death in 1993.
4. Kwame Brown, Ronny Turiaf, Lamar Odom and a Birthday Cake
Sometimes you're wandering around the streets of Los Angeles at two in the morning and the guy carrying around a huge sheet cake just looks like he needs to be messed with.
Back in 2007, when Kwame Brown's name was past its height of laugh-inducing ability, he, Ronny Turiaf and Lamar Odom all incidentally came across a man holding a two-by-two-foot cake just before 2 a.m.
The man asked Turiaf if he would take a picture with him and the cake, and Turiaf happily obliged. I mean, when there's cake involved, you've got to do whatever possible to get a piece of that.
However, Brown (probably upset that the man wasn't offering him any cake) took the cake from the man, threw it at him, hopped into his white limousine and left.
The man then walked up to Lamar Odom, who was leaving a pizza place, and confronted him about the cake. Odom's bodyguard then pushed him into the street.
No charges were filed, but I'm sure this dude is never going to carry a huge cake around Los Angeles again after something like that happened.
3. Isiah Thomas' Dream Team Exclusion
It's hard to imagine sympathizing with Isiah Thomas, but more than 20 years following his exclusion from the 1992 Dream Team, it's a bit hard not to feel for the guy.
Instead of being remembered as one of the 12 members of the greatest team ever assembled, he got to watch as the Olympic Team with the likes of Christian Laettner, a rarely used John Stockton and a nearly crippled Larry Bird took home the gold.
The reason? Michael Jordan didn't like him very much.
Not only had the two feuded and openly detested each other for the past few seasons, but Jordan and teammate Scottie Pippen also didn't want Thomas to come along.
One of the rumored stipulations about Jordan playing for the team was that Thomas had to be excluded, which he was.
If you're going to choose between the two, that's the right choice. But to deny that Thomas was one of the top 12 players in the league at the time is downright insane.
2. The Gilbert Arenas-Javaris Crittenton Duel
Sometimes when you're done playing poker and haven't gotten your money, it only makes sense to threaten to shoot somebody, especially if you're a multimillionaire.
Back in 2009, on Christmas Eve no less, Gilbert Arenas was arguing with teammate Javaris Crittenton about a gambling debt Arenas owed Crittenton.
Arenas pulled a gun first, but Crittenton quickly produced a pistol of his own.
Needless to say, this did not go over well with ownership, nor did it please David Stern to hear that there were guys threatening to shoot each other in locker rooms.
After both players were given a leave of absence while the team and the league investigated the incident, they were eventually suspended for the remainder of the season in mid-March.
1. Dennis Rodman-Karl Malone Smackdown
It was entirely scripted, completely ridiculous and intersected the biggest rivalry in sports (at the time) with the biggest rivalry in sports entertainment.
Anytime you can see Dennis Rodman teaming up with the nWo and fighting alongside Hulk Hogan against Karl Malone and Diamond Dallas Page in a fight for the sanctity of the WCW, you've got to take a step back and evaluate what's going on.
Not only had the Chicago Bulls-Utah Jazz rivalry spilled over into the strangest arena of pseudo-sports, but it was also completely entertaining.
Did Rodman and Malone hate each other? It sure as hell seemed like it.
It was infinite hype from either side, paired with two of the most recognizable figures in both wrestling and basketball in what amounted to the weirdest off-court battle between NBA players that the league has ever seen.
If anything, it seems to have showed us that Rodman really missed his calling. He easily could have been one of the biggest heels in wrestling history if he had chosen a different path.