Basketball is a game that involves a variety of skills, conflicting personalities and constant exposure to scrutiny of the millions of fans following the on court and off court action of their favorite NBA teams and players. These conditions can pretty much cause anyone to lose their marbles, let alone some of the world’s most recognised basketball players. From constantly griping about calls or just point-blank jackass behaviour, here are some of the most memorable tantrums and outbursts in basketball history.
1. Bad Boy Bill Laimbeer
Bill Laimbeer has a pretty bad rep: he has punched people, clotheslined people and body-slammed people. The video compilation above attests to his very physical nature and ‘bad boy’ label. It a pity that Laimbeer’s borderline assaults often overshadow the fact that he had 13,790 points and 10,400 rebounds in his career.
2. Dennis Rodman headbutts in rage
Dennis Rodman was ejected during a game in March of 1996 and didn’t exactly take kindly to it. Instead of leaving the court compliantly, Rodman threw a fit and stomped around for a few seconds before headbutting the referee – and he wasn’t done. When escorted off the court by Luc Longley, the angry basketballer took off his jersey on the sidelines, threw it back onto the court, and in one last move before he was suspended for six games without pay, Rodman shoved the water cooler over and stormed off.
3. Rasheed Wallace and his hatred for towels
Rasheed Wallace is admired as a great defensive player, but he is also a man who threw more temper tantrums than anyone else in NBA history. Though, it appears that he had a particular attraction towards throwing towels. The video above and this scene serve as proof.
4. The near fatal punch of Kermit Washington
One of the most notorious cheap shots in NBA history is when Kermit Washington attempted a near-fatal punch at Rudy Tomjanovich. The incident was so scandalous that author John Feinstein penned a novel around it entitled “The Punch: One Night, Two Lives, and the Fight that Changed Basketball Forever.”
5. ‘Malice at the palace’
This is arguably the ugliest incident in sports history as both players AND fans traded punches. Infamously known as ‘The Malice At The Palace,’ the melee happened on November 19th, 2004, at the end of a blowout between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons. It all started with Vernon Maxwell charging into the stands to punch a cup-hurling fan, David Stern, who was taunting him. In all, nine players from both teams were suspended for a total of 146 games.