It's extremely rare that you see two centers get into a scuffle involving tackling, but that's just what happened when the Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside retaliated after a shove from Phoenix Suns center Alex Len.
Update from Tuesday, March 3
The NBA has reportedly fined the two players but not suspended them.
Whiteside showed some remorse when talking about the incident on Tuesday, via the Sun-Sentinel's Shandel Richardson:
I regret doing that. That was the first time. Violence is not the answer. That's what it was.
I just felt like [Len] was frustrated with as many as dunks that I did on him. As I came down, I was kind of off-balanced so part of my arm hit him in the face and he tried to throw me down to the ground. I basically just grabbed him to keep it from escalating anymore.
It was a cool dunk and then I was like, "That guy is mad." It happens.
--End of Update--
After a rebound and putback dunk from Whiteside, Len gave the Heat big man a shove to let him know it wasn't appreciated. Whiteside responded by staying low and delivering a tackle that had the two 7-footers scrapping on the ground.
Earlier in the game, Whiteside came down on Len with his arm and tempers nearly flared, so this was the straw that broke the camel's back. Phoenix's Markieff Morris was also ejected earlier in the game for a flagrant-2 foul on Goran Dragic.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert had one of the funniest reactions to the play:
Len and Whiteside were both assessed technical fouls and ejected.