When Teammates Attack: The Most Serious Intrasquad Fights
Sports are hell of competitive—and not just between opposing teams, as we've seen instances over the years where guys wearing the same colors have battles that are just as fierce.
With the news of Geno Smith getting popped in the jaw last week by now-former teammate IK Enemkpali, causing Smith to miss 6-10 weeks, the New York Jets quarterback's tussle got me thinking about a few other intrasquad fights that became famous.
A team is supposed to be about family and a brotherhood, but, unfortunately, sometimes siblings just can't get along—and these teammate brawls prove that.
Kieron Dyer-Lee Bowyer
Soccer is a game where players methodically move the ball up the field, trusting one another to put their teammates in the best position to make a play in the hopes of scoring a goal.
Yet former Newcastle United players Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer might have been lacking that trust.
Rather than kicking the ball to Bowyer, Dyer chose a different teammate, which caused quite the reaction from Bowyer, who actually attacked his teammate during a match against Aston Villa in 2005.
Both men received the most bizarre red cards ever as the scuffle cost their team two players when Dyer and Bowyer were sent off.
Roger Staubach-Clint Longley
He may be in the Hall of Fame and arguably the best quarterback in Dallas Cowboys history, but Roger Staubach wasn't immune to getting hit by one of his teammates.
Clint Longley—a backup signal-caller who gained fame by filling in for an injured Staubach during a comeback victory on Thanksgiving Day in 1975—seemed to have quite the temper.
Nicknamed The Mad Bomber by his teammates for his feistiness, Longley was heard insulting Dallas receiver Drew Pearson during training camp in 1976.
When Staubach interjected to tell him to cool down, Longley landed a sucker punch on the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, leaving him with a nasty gash that required stitches.
Renaldo Balkman-Arwind Santos
Renaldo Balkman, who had a brief NBA career, did something that few would ever even imagine doing on the basketball court—choking someone.
He didn't choke just anyone, though, as it turned out to be Arwind Santos, Balkman's teammate during their time on the Petron Blaze, a pro team in the Philippines.
As you would imagine, the hand-around-the-neck gesture wasn't taken lightly, as Balkman was banned from the league for the teammate-on-teammate crime.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto-Benjamin Moukandjo
Soccer might be known as The Beautiful Game, but as shown with the Kieron Dyer-Lee Bowyer fight, not everything ends up looking good.
Another instance of teammates butting heads—literally—came during a 2014 World Cup match between Cameroon and Croatia, when Cameroonian defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto headbutted Benjamin Moukandjo in the final minutes of a blowout loss.
The frustration and stakes were high—given the outcome on the world's biggest stage—but Assou-Ekotto has to keep a cooler head in tense moments.
Michael Jordan-Steve Kerr
Six-time NBA champ Michael Jordan is known for going hard at his teammates during his illustrious hoops career, but in some cases, those same players weren't too appreciative when they felt undermined by the greatest baller ever.
One of those guys happened to be Steve Kerr, who took exception to Jordan's intensity and trash talk during a 1995 practice while playing together on the Chicago Bulls, causing the two to actually swing, and land, punches on each other.
Kerr may have hit the game-winner that gave Jordan his fifth NBA title, but it was their fight—which actually brought them closer—that may have shown His Airness that Kerr had the punch necessary to be trusted in big-time moments.
Steve Smith-Multiple Players (Ken Lucas, Guilian Gary, Anthony Bright)
If there's one thing fans know about Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, it's that he's not going to back down from anyone.
Not the biggest guy on the football field, he plays with a chip on his shoulder and is known as one of the biggest trash-talkers around, which has helped him be successful throughout his 14-year NFL career.
Sometimes, though, that intensity gets the best of him, as it has three separate times in fights with teammates.
First breaking practice squad player Anthony Bright's nose during a film session in 2002, then getting into a scuffle with rookie receiver Guilian Gary on the practice field that same year and, finally, breaking the nose of safety Ken Lucas in 2008, Smith has a hat trick of teammate fights.
Bill Laimbeer-Isiah Thomas
When you play on a basketball team that earned the nickname of Bad Boys for their tough and scrappy play, that toughness will sometimes come out when battling one another.
That's what happened between former Detroit Pistons players Bill Laimbeer and Isiah Thomas during a practice in 1993; Thomas actually broke his hand after landing a fisticuff on Laimbeer.
After winning back-to-back titles together in 1989 and 1990, the Pistons' window of opportunity was all but shut, and a four-game losing streak had tensions running high, which lead to Thomas swinging at one of the biggest men on the team.
Carlos Zambrano-Michael Barrett
As this video shows, former big league pitcher Carlos Zambrano had one of the most intense personalities that MLB had seen in a long, long time.
While he was a good pitcher, at times he was a ticking time bomb who would go off when things didn't go his way.
His most famous instance came in 2007 during a game against the Atlanta Braves, getting into it with his batterymate—catcher Michael Barrett—swinging at him and leaving Barrett with a bloody lip so bad it sent him to the hospital.
With that, Big Z showed that he was a dysfunctional teammate—which he proved in a few other instances throughout his career.
Percy Harvin-Seattle Seahawks Receiving Corps
When wide receiver Percy Harvin was brought to the Seattle Seahawks prior to the 2013 NFL season, he was looked at as the X-factor that would help the Hawks take the next step toward a Super Bowl title.
While Seattle did win the Super Bowl in Harvin's first year there, the former Offensive Player of the Year had little to do with it, as he played in one game during the regular season and the Super Bowl.
He may have had other opportunities to make an impact, but, unfortunately, none of the other receivers in Seattle seemed to like the guy.
It has been reported that Harvin gave former mate Golden Tate a black eye before the Super Bowl, and fought with Doug Baldwin too, with this whole mess ending with the speedy Harvin getting traded midseason in 2014.
Shaquille O'Neal-Scott Skiles
It's a little crazy to think that a pint-sized point guard like Scott Skiles would ever challenge one of the most dominant big men in NBA history, but that's what occurred while with the Orlando Magic when he tussled with Shaquille O'Neal.
Irritating O'Neal in practice, Shaq went after Skiles and got him in a headlock, causing one of the most unfair matchups in history.
Like the aforementioned Michael Jordan-Steve Kerr scuffle, this instance brought the two players closer together, but it's not something that any coach wants to rely on as a bonding moment.
Jeff Kent-Barry Bonds
This was simply a case of two former league MVPs who couldn't give up their alpha-male egos.
Back in 2002, the San Francisco Giants ended up in the World Series after having a pretty successful regular and postseason.
However, one thing that many Giants fans remember from that year was the scuffle between Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent, who were at each other's throats in the dugout during a regular-season game against the San Diego Padres.
Two of the best players in the National League at the time, it's a shame these two never formed a friendship that was more than complementing one another in the lineup; otherwise they may have ended up winning a title together.
Michael Westbrook-Stephen Davis
For those of us who are old enough to remember the training camp brawl between former Washington Redskins players Michael Westbrook and Stephen Davis, this intrateam fight might be the most famous.
An absolutely one-sided affair, when wide receiver Westbrook felt like he was being mocked by the running back Davis, he walloped on him, getting him on the ground and going to town with punches.
With neither player wearing pads or helmets, Davis took it right to the face as TV cameras captured it all.
For losing his mind, Westbrook was fined $50,000 and forced to apologize—rightfully so—as it was, probably, the hardest hits Davis took during the entire 1997 season.
Gilbert Arenas-Javaris Crittenton
Card games are a popular way for athletes to waste time together during a long season, but sometimes telling a teammate to "go fish" causes an unexpected reaction.
OK, so that's not what really happened between Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton in 2010 while with the Washington Wizards, but the two ended up pulling guns on each other over a damn card game.
With the team struggling and frustration high, the two players didn't back down over a gambling debt that seemed to rack up over the year, causing them to both pull heaters out as threats—in the locker room, nonetheless.
This one may not have been a physical altercation, but with both getting suspended for the remainder of the season, it's one that has to be recognized. Luckily, no triggers were actually ever pulled.
Bill Romanowski-Marcus Williams
During his playing days, former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski has admitted that steroids were a big part of his career, which may or may not have played a part in some of his intense moments.
One of Romo's worst instances came against former teammate Marcus Williams while both played for the Oakland Raiders in 2003.
With Williams blocking Romanowski during practice, the veteran linebacker became upset that he was being held and pushed back, eventually leading to an all-out brawl between the two players.
Williams ended up with a mangled face, broken left eye socket and chipped tooth so bad that it ended his football career, which, in turn, led to him suing Romanowski and being awarded $340,000 in damages.
This fight was a serious one that had major repercussions for both players.