Wildest Fights in NBA History
The wildest fights in the NBA have been been well-chronicled and referenced several times when discussing league history.
Marquee names such as Shaquille O'Neal, Reggie Miller and even Larry Bird had plenty of verve to back up their on-court prowess and weren't afraid to use it when it mattered most.
We've seen some serious heavyweight bouts in the league, but these are a cut above the rest.
24. Xavier Mcdaniel vs. Charles Oakley
Two tough guys in the league decided to challenge one another in this one, but the result wasn’t exactly what most would expect.
The “fight” looked more like two school girls slapping at one another after a disagreement on the playground.
23. Trevor Ariza vs. Brandon Roy
Trevor Ariza might have committed the foul on Rudy Fernandez, but it was Brandon Roy that Ariza got tangled up with in the aftermath of the event.
Despite the fact that Ariza was clearly playing the ball, Fernandez's hard fall to the ground caused a skirmish to ensue, and neither side was seeking to back down from the other.
22. Ron Artest vs. Kobe Bryant
Before Ron Artest and Kobe Bryant were teammates, the staunch defender was one of the few players in the league that could actually play sound defense against the shooting guard.
After Artest got called for an offensive foul for taking an elbow to the face from Bryant, Artest went right over to Kobe to engage in a little verbal one-on-one and let him know exactly how he felt.
21. Zach Randolph vs. Luis Amundson
Remember when Zach Randolph was viewed as nothing more than an overweight, undersized power forward?
I think that’s how Luis Amundson referred to him as before Z-Bo delivered a deliberate punch right to his face.
20. Kevin Mchale vs. Kurt Rambis
Kevin McHale was attempting to deliver a hard foul to Rambis on the breakaway, but you don’t go for the neck when you do that.
It’s easy to see why Rambis got so upset as he could’ve really hurt him, and the intensity between the Lakers and Celtics certainly added to the moment as well.
19. Raja Bell vs. Kobe Bryant
Raja Bell and Kobe Bryant had a genuine distaste for one another as neither refused to back down from the other, and it was clear that Bell was trying to send a message to Bryant.
Bell, who referred to Bryant as a pompous and arrogant individual, felt that Bryant got away with a lot of calls that most don't.
Bryant's response? "I don't even know that kid."
18. Bonzi Wells vs. Chris Mills
After Rasheed Wallace drained the game-winning bucket for the Portland “Jail” Blazers, a fight instantly broke out between Chris Mills and Bonzi Wells.
Fans decided that they’d also get involved by throwing some foreign objects out on the court. After the game, Mills took it to an entirely new echelon when he tried to get into the Portland locker room.
17. Shaq vs. Brad Miller
Brad Miller can really get underneath the skin of a lot of people, and clearly O’Neal is no exception.
After the two got mixed up when Shaq went after a rebound, O’Neal didn’t appreciate Miller’s defense at the opposite end and went absolutely insane against Miller underneath the rim as a result.
16. Kevin Johnson vs. Doc Rivers
Doc Rivers is known as a no-nonsense type of coach, but Kevin Johnson got a one-up on him in this debacle.
Normally very capable of handling his on-court composure, Johnson nailed Rivers only to be delivered an even more powerful blow by an out-of-uniform Greg Anthony.
15. Shaq vs. Barkley
When you throw a ball off of the head of one of the biggest guys to ever play in the league, you’re probably not going to get a good reaction.
However, Barkley decided to test the waters and do exactly that when he challenged Shaq to an all-out brawl.
The two really went at one another, and now they’ll be sitting next to each other on the TNT pre-game show.
14. Danny Ainge vs. Tree Rollins
Danny Ainge really got the worst out of this one after Tree Rollins clipped him with an elbow.
He tried to retaliate and put Rollins to the ground, but the center got the best of him when he took a bite out of Ainge’s finger.
Maybe he should ask Mike Tyson what the ear tastes like so the two can compare.
13. Dale Davis vs. Michael Smith
The league had not really seen anything like this when it all went down in November of 1995.
An incredible 16 total players were suspended in the melee with Dale Davis of the Pacers and Michael Smith of the Kings getting the greatest penalties.
12. Knicks vs. Nuggets in 2006
It’s pretty bad when your career “highlight” came during an on-court scuffle, but that’s exactly the case with Mardy Collins.
New York’s first-round bust laid down a hard foul on J.R. Smith and sparked a pretty intense fight between the two teams.
Each team was fined $500,000 by David Stern and the two clubs have had some very bad blood between them ever since.
11. Shawn Bradley Gets Body Slammed
Shawn Bradley stands 7’6” tall, so the fact that a 6’7” Mark Davis body slammed him to the ground is really a testament to his strength.
This was part of a bigger brawl, but ultimately just speaks to the softness of one of the biggest men to ever play the game.
10. Julius Erving vs. Larry Bird
There was some bad blood between the Sixers and Celtics during the golden age of basketball.
These two legends really went at it during a game back in 1984 and engaged in a bench-clearing brawl that led to $7,500 fines for each player.
Sometimes competitiveness can get the best of even the most talented to ever play the game.
9. Ralph Sampson vs. Jerry Sichting
Sampson went absolutely bonkers when he got entangled with a man that was a full foot shorter than he was.
Sichting and Sampson really went at one another, with Sampson getting in several blows as he went to the ground.
8. Reggie Miller vs. Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant doesn’t tend to show his emotions off or on the court very frequently, but he sure didn’t hold back against Reggie Miller.
Bryant jacked up a three with time winding down and the game in hand, and clearly Miller didn’t appreciate it.
He showed his disapproval of the motion by going after Bryant with an utter ferocity and Kobe didn’t hold back in defending himself one bit.
7. Marcus Camby vs. Danny Ferry
After Marcus Camby got a finger in the eye from Danny Ferry, he wound up for a windmill punch in retaliation.
Unfortunately for Camby, he missed and collided with coach Jeff Van Gundy, which left him feeling dazed and confused.
6. Jo-Jo English vs. Derek Harper
What better time to engage in an all out brawl than when the commissioner is sitting courtside?
That’s what happened when Jo-Jo English and Derek Harper took it to another level against one another back in the 1994 postseason.
5. Reggie Miller vs. Michael Jordan
Reggie Miller might not be remembered for being an instigator on the court, but he played that role well in more than one instance.
When Jordan torched the Pacers for a near triple-double including 40 big points, Miller gave him a shoulder jab under the bucket, which His Airness clearly didn’t appreciate.
4. Rick Fox vs. Doug Christie
Rick Fox might have been known as one of the “pretty boys” in the league when he played, but he got down and dirty in this one.
The brawl started when Fox gave Christie a little shove, and the staunch defender retaliated with a fierce blow to the jaw.
It may have started on the court, but it went into the tunnel and just about everywhere else in the building before this one concluded.
3. The Punch
One of the most classic moments in NBA history is when Kermit Washington absolutely laid out Rudy Tomjanovich.
A scuffle had begun just moments before when Washington chose to deck Tomjanovich right out of the water with a massive fist to the dome, resulting in career-threatening injuries.
2. Larry Johnson vs. Alonzo Mourning
The Heat vs. Knicks rivalry back in the 1990s was reminiscent of something that was a part of old-school basketball.
These two teams really hated one another, and when Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson went after one another, Jeff Van Gundy decided he wanted to get in the middle.
The on-court outburst fueled the fire that burned brightly between the teams for a very long time.
1. Palace Brawl
The infamous brawl at the Palace was one of the poorest displays of professionalism that we’ve seen in athletics.
Both players and fans got into the melee with beers, chairs and an assortment of other foreign objects entering the mix as well.
With nine players receiving suspensions, including 86 games for Ron Artest as the man in the middle, this was downright embarrassing for the NBA.