The National Basketball Association (NBA) has been a staple in the American sports landscape and culture for over 70 years. Throughout its long and storied history, there have been moments of intense rivalry and passionate confrontation that have left fans with their jaws on the floor. Some of these moments between players can be described as nothing less than “explosive,” creating a spectacle that will live on forever in the annals of basketball lore. Here are the five biggest fights in NBA history – guaranteed to leave you “seeing red” with excitement!

The first fight on this list happened between two Hall of Famers, Larry Bird and Julius Erving. The two legends clashed during a game in 1984 when Bird took exception to a hard foul by Erving, leading to an altercation that had both benches emptying onto the court as tempers flared. It was an epic battle between two of the greatest players ever to grace the court, and it set a new standard for intensity in professional basketball.

Next up is perhaps one of the most notorious fights ever seen in NBA history: The Malice at the Palace. This infamous incident took place during a game between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers at the Palace of Auburn Hills back in 2004. It began with an altercation between Ron Artest and Ben Wallace, but quickly escalated into an all-out brawl involving multiple players from both teams as well as spectators who came onto the court from the stands.

The Malice At The Palace

The first of the biggest fights in NBA history was famously known as ‘the malice at the palace.’ This fight took place in 2004 between members of the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons. It started when a fan threw a beer cup at Ron Artest, an Indiana Pacer player, after he had been fouled and charged into the stands. Artest then punched the fan and this sparked off a huge brawl that involved players from both teams. As a result of this incident, nine players were suspended for a total of 146 games and five players were fined.

This fight set off a chain reaction within the NBA which led to tougher security measures being put in place inside all arenas. Rules regarding alcohol consumption by fans, who could be allowed into arenas, and how to respond to on-court scuffles were also strengthened. It was clear that this fight had lasting implications on how basketball games would be managed in future.

The following year saw another major fight between Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony, two star players from different teams. This altercation began with some pushing and shoving before escalating into an all-out brawl where punches were thrown by both parties. Both teams had to be separated by referees and coaches as order was restored. In the aftermath of this fight, each player received multiple game suspensions as well as fines for their behavior during the incident.

These two major fights show just how volatile things can get during NBA games and why strong security measures are needed to prevent further incidents from happening again. They also serve as reminders that basketball is still a competitive sport where emotions can run high between players, leading to such unfortunate events occurring on court.

The Kevin Garnett And Carmelo Anthony Fight

It was like a powder keg waiting to explode. On November 29, 2006, the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett and New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony were at the center of one of the biggest fights in NBA history. One could feel the intensity building as both teams became increasingly frustrated with each other.

The altercation began when Garnett elbowed Anthony and then exchanged words with him. This led to punches being thrown and both benches clearing out as players from either side rushed to join the melee. The referees quickly stepped in to break up the fight, but not before things had gotten out of hand.

The incident was assessed by the NBA and resulted in a variety of punishments:

  1. Garnett was suspended for two games without pay;
  2. Anthony was suspended for 15 games;
  3. Three other Celtics players were also suspended;
  4. Five Knicks players were also given suspensions.

These penalties served as a reminder of how seriously the league takes such matters, ensuring that another similar event does not take place in their courts again. With both sides having learned their lesson, it is time to look back on this memorable moment in basketball history with respect and admiration for all those involved.

The Chris Paul And Rajon Rondo Brawl

While the Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony fight was one of the most notorious NBA dust-ups, the Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo brawl takes second place. This incident in October 2018 was so explosive that both players were suspended for a total of eight games. It all started with a disagreement between Paul and Rondo, which quickly escalated into an all-out melee that involved multiple players.

The altercation began when Rondo spat on Paul, which provoked an immediate physical response from the Rockets player. Other players became involved in the scuffle as well, including Brandon Ingram who pushed James Harden away from the fight. The verbal sparring between Paul and Rondo continued until they were separated by security.

This incident set a precedent for future dust-ups in the NBA: any physical altercation or altercation involving spitting will be met with swift and severe punishment from league officials. The incident also highlighted how quickly a disagreement can escalate into a full-blown fight, even amongst fellow professionals – something that will always be an issue in sports leagues around the world. Consequently, the Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo brawl stands as one of the most dramatic conflicts in NBA history.

The Kobe Bryant And Chris Childs Scuffle

The fourth biggest fight in NBA history occurred between Kobe Bryant and Chris Childs. This scuffle happened during a regular-season game between the Lakers and the New Jersey Nets. It was sparked when Childs attempted to block Bryant’s layup attempt, resulting in both players exchanging words and shoves. The altercation escalated quickly as both players had to be separated by their teammates as well as the referees.

Unfortunately for both parties, they were ejected from the game, which further added to the drama surrounding this highly publicized brawl. While no punches were thrown, both players received hefty fines and suspensions due to their actions. Despite the punishment, both men have since moved past the incident and reconciled with each other.

This scuffle between Kobe Bryant and Chris Childs is one of many memorable fights that have taken place throughout NBA history. As we move onto our next biggest fight, it will be interesting to see how it compares to this classic confrontation between two of basketball’s greatest stars. Moving forward, we look at ‘the Charles Oakley and Charles Barkley brawl’.

The Charles Oakley And Charles Barkley Brawl

As the old saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words,” and this rings true for the memorable brawl between Charles Oakley and Charles Barkley. This fight was one of the most iconic disputes in NBA history, occurring in 1997 during a game between the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls.

The altercation began after a hard foul by Oakley on Michael Jordan that sent him sprawling to the floor. As Oakley walked away from the play, Barkley approached him from behind and pushed him onto the scorer’s table. Oakley responded with a shove before being pulled away by multiple players. The two players were each given technical fouls and ejected from the game but no further action was taken by the league.

This brawl was symbolic of a larger rivalry between these two players that had been building up throughout their careers. They had previously competed against each other in college basketball, with Barkley representing Auburn University and Oakley playing for Virginia Union University. There have also been numerous incidents between them on-court as well as off-court feuds over the years which further added fuel to their heated rivalry. Ultimately, this scuffle encapsulated all of their animosity towards each other in one memorable moment that will live on in NBA lore forever.

The Stephen Jackson And Reggie Evans Battle

Things got heated when Stephen Jackson and Reggie Evans faced off in 2006. The two NBA stars were at odds from the start, a situation that quickly escalated into one of the biggest fights in basketball history. It was truly a sight to behold – a classic example of ‘like oil and water’ if there ever was one.

The incident started with an on-court altercation between the two players. Jackson and Evans exchanged verbal barbs before things quickly got physical, with both players shoving each other around as they tried to gain control of the situation. Eventually, referees stepped in and separated the two combatants, but not before a few punches were thrown by both sides.

The fight made headlines across the United States, sparking debate over what constituted acceptable behavior on the court. Some argued that it was simply a natural result of competition while others felt it crossed an ethical line. Regardless of what side people took, there’s no denying that this fight left an indelible mark on NBA history – a reminder that emotions can get out of hand even at the highest levels of professional sports.

The Robert Horry And Steve Nash Showdown

Feet were flying and fists were pumping as a legendary showdown between Robert Horry and Steve Nash erupted on the court. It was an epic battle that would go down in NBA history as one of the wildest fights ever witnessed. The intensity of this clash was absolutely explosive, sending shockwaves throughout the arena which left fans speechless.

The two parties began exchanging shoves and trash talk before quickly escalating into a full-blown brawl. As onlookers watched in awe, each player attempted to prove they weren’t intimidated by their opponent’s physicality. Neither man was willing to back down from their stance, resulting in a heated exchange that could have ended even worse than it did.

Eventually, referees managed to break up the altercation and separate both players before any real damage could be done. While it was certainly a tense moment for all involved, this fight went down as one of the most iconic moments in recent NBA history. With tensions high and tempers flaring, it’s no wonder why this scuffle is remembered so fondly by basketball fans across the globe.

The Stephen Jackson, Anthony Johnson, And Mario Chalmers Confrontation

The 8th biggest fight in NBA history is the Stephen Jackson, Anthony Johnson, and Mario Chalmers confrontation. The 2008 showdown between these three individuals occurred during a game between the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks. The altercation began when Mario Chalmers stepped on the foot of Stephen Jackson who then charged at him. As Anthony Johnson attempted to keep them apart, he was pushed by Jackson. In response, Johnson retaliated by shoving Jackson back, leading to both men being ejected from the game.

The incident was further escalated after the game when Stephen Jackson entered into the stands and threatened fans. This resulted in him receiving an indefinite suspension from the NBA and a $25,000 fine. Meanwhile, both Anthony Johnson and Mario Chalmers were fined $15,000 each for their roles in the altercation.

Despite its consequences, this incident has gone down as one of the most memorable fights in NBA history due to its shocking nature and potential for escalation into something more serious. It serves as a reminder of how quickly tensions can arise during games and why players must remain mindful of their actions on court. Moving forward, we will now look at another memorable altercation: The Lamar Odom and Robin Lopez confrontation.

The Lamar Odom And Robin Lopez Confrontation

The ninth biggest fight in NBA history is the confrontation between Lamar Odom and Robin Lopez. On one side, we have the 6’10” Lamar Odom—a former two-time NBA champion who was known as one of the most versatile players in the league during his heyday. On the other hand, there’s Lopez—a 7’0″ center with a knack for getting under opponents’ skin. This clash of styles and personalities led to an altercation during a game between the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers in 2013.

The incident began when Lopez clobbered Odom with a hard screen, knocking him to the floor. As Odom got back up, he pushed Lopez away and both men had to be separated by teammates and referees. What followed was a heated exchange of words before they were finally separated and ejected from the game. Afterward, both players were fined for their actions but no further punishments were handed down.

It was an intense moment that serves as a reminder of how quickly tempers can flare on the court. It also highlighted what makes basketball so exciting – two completely different personalities colliding in a passionate showdown that could’ve easily gotten out of hand at any moment. Despite their differences, it’s clear that both Odom and Lopez wanted to win at all costs – something all fans can appreciate!

The Joakim Noah And Dwight Howard Confrontation

The tenth biggest fight in NBA history was between Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls and Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic. This altercation occurred during a game in 2007, with both players getting called for technical fouls. The heated exchange happened after Howard knocked down Noah during a layup attempt.

The referees intervened to stop the fight before it escalated any further, and although no punches were thrown, both players had to be separated. It was clear that tempers were running high and both men were determined to prove their dominance over the other. In fact, they were still exchanging words while being escorted off the court by security personnel.

Despite this incident, there is no doubt that these two superstars have a lot of respect for each other as they continue to battle against each other year after year. Even though their competitive nature has led to some heated moments on the court, both men know how to remain professional and get back to playing basketball. Moving on from this incident, let’s take a look at another one of the biggest fights in NBA history: the Danny Granger and Kobe Bryant incident.

The Danny Granger And Kobe Bryant Incident

Who would have thought the legendary Kobe Bryant would be involved in such an embarrassing incident? After all, he was a five-time NBA champion and one of the greatest players to ever play the game. But, as it turns out, even the greats have their moments of weakness!

The saga between Kobe and Danny Granger began during an exhibition game in 2007. Granger was trying to block Kobe’s shot when he got too close for comfort and Bryant pushed him away. The two then proceeded to get into a heated argument before being separated by their teammates.

The altercation ended without any punches being thrown but still served as a reminder that no matter how talented you are, you can still come undone in a moment of frustration. It’s a good lesson for everyone—even NBA superstars!

The Kobe Bryant And Raja Bell Altercation

The 12th biggest fight in NBA history is the Kobe Bryant and Raja Bell altercation. The incident happened during a regular season game between the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns in 2006. At this point, Kobe was considered one of the most dominant players in the league, while Bell was a defensive specialist.

During the game, Kobe drove to the basket and collided with Bell, who then retaliated by shoving him away and initiating a physical altercation. This led to both players receiving technical fouls as well as an automatic ejection from the game.

The altercation had several implications:

  • From a legal standpoint:
  • Both players were fined for their actions
  • The NBA suspended them for two games each
  • From an emotional standpoint:
  • Kobe felt like he had been wronged by Bell and it resulted in him having a grudge against him
  • It created tension between both teams that lingered for some time afterwards

This incident highlighted how physical altercations can have major consequences for both teams and players involved. It also serves as an example of how tempers can flare up quickly during intense competition. As such, it’s important to remain aware of our surroundings and remain calm even when emotions are running high. Moving on to another major fight in NBA history – the Jermaine O’Neal and Paul Pierce scuffle…

The Jermaine O’neal And Paul Pierce Scuffle

The 13th biggest fight in NBA history involved two players who had a history of animosity with each other: Jermaine O’Neal and Paul Pierce. The two were both highly competitive, with O’Neal being the more physical of the two. The altercation began when O’Neal got into an argument with Pierce’s teammate, Rajon Rondo. O’Neal then went after Pierce, pushing him and throwing punches at him. Both players were eventually separated by their teammates and ejected from the game.

The scuffle was seen as a result of a long-standing rivalry between the two players. Both had clashed on numerous occasions during their time in the NBA, and this incident only served to escalate tensions further. While neither player was injured in the altercation, it did lead to suspensions for both players. O’Neal was suspended for five games while Pierce received a one-game suspension.

The fight between O’Neal and Pierce highlighted just how competitive both players could be on the court. It also showed that while they may have been rivals on the court, they still respected each other enough to step away from any further physical confrontation once things had gone too far. This respect set an example for future generations of NBA stars, showing that it is possible to remain competitive without resorting to violence or physical altercations.

The Jared Dudley And Jason Terry Scuffle

The NBA is known for its intense rivalries, and the Jared Dudley and Jason Terry scuffle is no exception. It all began in 2013 when Dudley, then with the Los Angeles Clippers, shoved Terry, then a member of the Phoenix Suns after a hard foul. Here are three key elements to this fight:

  1. The altercation began when Dudley was trying to stop Terry from getting an offensive rebound.
  2. When he did not succeed, he proceeded to shove him in response to his frustration.
  3. In retaliation, Terry responded by shoving Dudley back and then throwing a punch at him that failed to land.

The fight quickly escalated from there as multiple players got involved in attempting to break it up before both teams were sent back to their benches by referees. While Dudley was ejected from the game and received a one-game suspension while Terry only received a technical foul, it didn’t stop this scuffle from being remembered as one of the biggest fights in NBA history until today. Looking ahead, it’s time to move on to the next big brawl – the DeMar Derozan and Goran Dragic incident!

The Demar Derozan And Goran Dragic Incident

The 15th biggest fight in NBA history happened between DeMar Derozan and Goran Dragic. A great example of a heated exchange of words between two players on the court, this incident was one for the books.

To start off, here’s a hypothetical situation: You’re an up-and-coming player in the NBA and you find yourself face to face with a veteran of the league. The veteran has just committed a foul against you and your reaction is quick and strong – an altercation ensues. This is exactly what happened between DeMar Derozan and Goran Dragic in 2016.

Here are the details that made this incident stand out: •\tThe Players: Both DeMar Derozan (Toronto Raptors) and Goran Dragic (Miami Heat) had been playing professionally for several years with championship ambitions. •\tWhat Happened: After DeMar was fouled by Goran, he immediately responded with a shove to his chest leading to an intense verbal argument. •\tThe Aftermath: Both players were ejected from the game and received fines from the league for their actions.

This particular fight was especially notable because it showcased how quickly things can escalate between two professional players on court, even when there’s no physical contact involved other than a shove. It also highlighted the importance of remaining composed on court, as these tensions can boil over if not handled carefully or professionally.


The NBA has a storied history of physical altercations between players, and it’s no surprise that some of these fights have become legendary. From the Malice at the Palace to Kobe Bryant’s scuffle with Raja Bell, these fights have captivated basketball fans for years. While most of these incidents involved the exchange of words and fists, there was one altercation that did not involve physical contact – the DeMar DeRozan and Goran Dragic incident. This event is significant because it serves as an example of how far tensions can escalate without ever reaching blows.

Not only do these fights provide entertainment and shock value, they also reveal just how competitive professional sports can be. The intensity of the competition can be seen in the fact that all five of these incidents resulted in multiple suspensions and fines for those involved. Ultimately, this highlights just how seriously serious matters are taken in the NBA.

Another statistic that reveals much about these altercations is their cost – when combined, Kobe Bryant and Chris Childs’ scuffle ended up costing them $162,500 in fines alone! This shows just how costly a single fight can be both financially and professionally. It is a reminder to all athletes that while rivalries may be heated on the court, they should never cross into physical violence.

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