5 'Basket-Brawls' That Might've Been Worse Than the PH-AUS FIBA Disaster

That was bad, but it wasn't the first time sports brought out the worst in people.

The game between the Philippines' Gilas and Australia's Boomer was bad, but it wasn't the first time that a basketball event turned into a fighting match. When you're so invested in something, it can consume you, whether you're a player or a fan. It's happened before, just take a look at all these intense basketball melees through the years. The thing is, not one of these matches turned out an inappropriate selfie (not cool, Marc Pingris).

Detroit Pistons Vs Indian Pacers (NBA) 

When: November 19, 2004

This catastrophic basketball event has been dubbed “Malice at the Palace” (the venue was The Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan) and described as “the most infamous brawl” as well as the “worst night” in NBA history.

With less than a minute left in the game, the fight began with the Pacers’ Ron Artest and the Pistons’ Ben Wallace. However, it quickly escalated when a spectator threw a cup at Artest, who charged at the stands but grabbed the wrong man. Pacers’ broadcaster Mark Boyle tried to hold Artest back but fractured five vertebrae and suffered a head gouge in the attempt. The chaos ensued as more spectators and players became involved. One coach even compared it to a gladiator-type scene. The fight even continued in the Pacers’ locker room and the whole melee left a permanent dent on the stadium floor.

Nine players were suspended and nine spectators were injured. A total of $11 million in salary was lost.

China Vs Brazil

When: October 12, 2010

A “friendly” matched turned into a melee when player Zhang Qingpeng was fouled by a Brazilian player. Less than a minute into the game, players from both sides—including those from the bench—launched into a massive brawl that lasted several minutes. The Brazilian team refused to return to play and dropped out from the tournament all together.


Crispa Redmanizers Vs Toyota Tamaraws (PBA)

When: April 17, 1977

Filipinos can be really spirited when it comes to their national religion sport. The rivalry between Crispa and Toyota was especially heated and lasted years. According to PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa, basketball was even more intense in the ‘70s because of Martial Law: “People really had nothing to do but watch basketball."

On April 17, 1977, Crispa had a buzzer-beating win over Toyota with 122-121. The game had just finished and players from both teams were supposed to be heading for the dugout when a riot broke out on court. Spectators joined in, with one hurtling a softdrink bottle at a woman.

The 15-minute brawl ended with players from both teams cut and bloodied. The next day, all 21 players were detained in Fort Bonifacio. Both teams were fined P5,000.

Añejo Rummasters Vs. Presto Ice Cream Makers (PBA)

When: December 11, 1988

This crazy brawl is considered by many to be the worst in PBA history. In the tangle of limbs and punches and kicks, commentators Quinito Henson and Sev Sarmenta stopped focusing on basketball and proceeded to narrate a literal blow-by-blow account of the riot. If you can’t make sense of what’s happening, just know that there were flying chairs and flying kicks, punching, clotheslines, and stepping.

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Crispa Redmanizers Vs Toyota Tamaraws (PBA)

When: December 15, 1975

The final match of the inaugural PBA season ended with Crispa beating Toyota 96-91, but the great match and victory was marred with two on-court brawls , first during the second quarter then again with only 35 seconds left in the game. Spotty coaching was blamed for the heat between the players.

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