Bill Laimbeer vs the Celtics – One of the Greatest Fights in NBA Playoffs History

Bill Laimbeer vs the Celtics – One of the Greatest Fights in NBA Playoffs History

Detroit Pistons center Bill Laimbeer was by far the most hated player of the then Pistons team; Larry Bird hated him more than anyone, most of all for kicking off the leg of an opponent while he was taking the shot, so there was a possibility that opponent could suffer an ankle injury. Pistons played hard defense at that time (we could see it also in one of the games between Detroit and Boston. After a serious foul, Larry Bird continued to play as if nothing had happened, that is also one of the reasons why he was named Larry Legend).

Bird’s anger was finally seen in the game 4 of the 1987 East Finals when Laimbeer literally pushed Bird to the floor when he was about to make a layup. After that, there was a mini-fight between Bird and Laimbeer, but the teammates successfully separated them. Larry then threw the ball towards Laimbeer and gets ejected from the game. Dennis Rodman and Bird almost entered another fight. Pistons fans shot at Bird everything that came to their hands when he was leaving the field.

After the Bird vs Laimbeer fight, it did not take much to guess what would happen in the fifth game of the series; some of Celtics players will try to revenge Bird. That was the case, just in place of Bird, the main role was taken by “The Chief” Robert Parish, a great Celtics player and one of the best centers of the era.

At the end of the first half Darren Daye missed a relatively easy shot, and in fighting for rebound Laimbeer scratch Parish’s head with an elbow, and then “The Chief” hit quickly Laimbeer and knocked him down. After the incident, the guards and the police stood beside the parquet (police had to come to ensure that something worse would not happen among the players). Bird admitted openly in a podcast with Bill Simmons, that the audience urged Parish to attack Laimbeer and return him for a fight in the previous game. At the time, only a foul was called on the Chief, but upon further review after the game, the league suspended Parish for Game 6. The Pistons lost in seven games.