When you combine trash talk and the physical nature and high emotions of an NBA game, things can sometimes get out of control. The NBA has seen hundreds one-on-one fights through its many years of basketball history, but it is the all out brawls among teams, players, coaches, and sometimes even fans, that remain etched in our collective sports memories. There have been instances where a fan has hit a player in the face with a cup of beer, ongoing feuds between players and teams, and healthy rivalries that blossomed into perpetual battles royale.
During the 1980s and 1990s the NBA was used to seeing scuffles breakout on a nightly basis with teams like the rugged New York Knicks, the "Bad Boy" Detroit Pistons, the Chicago Bulls, the Indiana Pacers, the Miami Heat, and the Boston Celtics all regularly contributing to the mayhem. All out brawls became commonplace in the NBA during the final quarter of the 20th century and they weren't always broken up in a timely fashion.
Things were so tense and physical during the NBA's glory years that fouls that you'd think would easily get a player ejected and suspended, were nothing more than a personal foul. Remember when Celtic Kevin McHale dropped a wicked hard clothesline on the Laker Kurt Rambis? It nearly caused a bi-coastal war among the NBA's two most storied franchises and officials called nothing more than a personal foul on McHale.
One of the most memorable major brawls in NBA history was, of course, when the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers came together in what became known as "The Malice in the Palace." There have been many scuffles in the NBA but these are perhaps the biggest basketball brawls and fights of all time. Check out these fights, then head over and check out the craziest NBA brawls of the 2019-20 season.