Joel Embiid and Terry Rozier received double technicals for getting into it when Embiid tried to pry the ball away from Terry Rozier during a stoppage in play during Game 4 of the Philly/Boston series. The slapfest was feisty by today’s playoff standards, but it was nothing compared to a knock down, drag out brawl that broke out between the Celts and Sixers during an early season 1984 contest.
It all started when Dr. J tossed Larry Bird to the floor after arm fighting in transition. Bird took exception and both he and Dr. J grabbed each other by the throat. Both benches spilled onto the floor in a good old fashioned 80’s battle royale that saw Dr. J throwing punches at Bird while he was restrained in a headlock by Charles Barkley and Moses Malone.
Incredibly, no one was suspended from the brawl, which would probably warrant lifetime suspensions if it happened today in the era of social media. In subsequent interviews, both Bird and Erving said it is all water under the bridge and attribute it to two legendary competitors going at it.
80’s NBA was something else. The Celtics eventually won the game, 130-119. Bird finished with 42.
Barkley tried to explain his role in the melee during a recent Inside the NBA. He claimed he was trying to stop the fight, but the rest of the crew wasn’t buying it.
Dr J vs Bird fight with Chuck holding Larry, the Dr was throwing bombs pic.twitter.com/6k2svqZ2Qp
— Born Salty (@cjzero) April 29, 2018