The NBA has come a long way from the days when Dr. J slugged Bird while Charles Barkley held Larry’s arms behind his back. That level of intensity in pro hoops brawls promptly disappeared after Ron “World Peace” Artest started a near-riot at the Palace in Auburn Hills back in 2004.
These days, it’s rare to see actual punches thrown in NBA contests, but it still happens. Instigators like Thunder reserve Steve Adams and Warriors center Andrew Bogut front the list of usual suspects when teams are brawling out west. In other cases, stars like LeBron James and Blake Griffin tend to have a bulls-eye on their backs when teams want to make a statement. If they act, the respective team’s enforcers will tangle. Here are five brawls that prompted ejections and/or suspensions in the 2013-2014 NBA season.
5. Golden State vs. Portland: November 23, 2013
Bogut has a way of tangling arms in the hunt for rebounds that annoys opposing players to no end. In this Oakland fracas from November 2013, Bogut had wrapped up Joel Freeland at the boards and then sent an elbow flying the Trail Blazer’s way. LaMarcus Aldridge did not like that move and came hurtling into the scene for an altercation with Bogut. Meanwhile, Jermaine O’Neal was not in uniform but prolonged the brawl by putting Mo Williams in a chokehold. Mo Williams and Bogut ended up with suspensions for the incident while three other players were fined.