Skip to main content

[1994] Danny Ainge throws the ball right into the face of Mario Elie

Today, NBA fans recognize Danny Ainge as the mastermind who has helped construct the current Celtics team. Boston has been successful the past couple of seasons and is chock-full of young talent, assets, and All-Stars. Although Ainge has established himself as a successful GM in the league, he can also be remembered for his solid 15 year NBA career.

While he had many memorable moments, there is one in particular that everybody remembers, the so-called "Fight Club Friday".

The date was May 13, 1994. Charles Barkley and the Suns had advanced through the first round of the playoffs by eliminating the Golden State Warriors 3-0. Next up was the Houston Rockets, led by Hakeem Olajuwon. The Suns came out the gate hot, winning the first two games in the seven-game series.

During the game, Mario Elie made a great play in which he was able to create contact from Ainge, draw a foul, and make the basket to set up a three-point opportunity. In celebration, Ellie got in Ainge’s face to talk a little smack, as players often do during the playoffs. Danny didn’t care for those antics at the time.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

But with six seconds left, and a lead of 116-102, the Rockets pushed the ball up the court. Olajuwon concluded the play by slamming the ball down hard in an effort to close the game out with authority. In a moment of rage, due to the unnecessary dunk as time was expiring, Ainge proceeded to throw the ball in after the basket, baseball style, directly off of Mario Ellie’s face.

Hilariously enough, the ball bounced right back to the sideline and went out of bounds for Ainge to inbound it one more time, as if nothing had happened.

John Salley on Larry Bird vs. Bill Limber fight

John Salley on the Bill Laimbeer vs. Larry Bird fight: "He hit him very legal"

Most people agree that Bill Laimbeer was the one who initiated the brawl with Larry Bird. But John Salley, Bill's former teammate, sees the incident differently.

Bruce Bowen

Bruce Bowen addresses his dirty player reputation ”It's who I am”

Bruce Bowen shares his honest take on being tagged as a dirty player.


Patrick Beverly goes off on Stephen A. Smith: "You need to be drug tested. Get off the weed man!"

Safe to say, Pat Bev disagreed with Stephen A.'s take regarding James Harden and his possible new max contract.

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton

DeAndre Ayton’s video game obsession will cost him a lot, on and off the court

DeAndre Ayton's love for video games reduces his sleeping time to two hours on some nights. This isn't good news to fans and the front office that is not keen on giving him a max extension.

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler

“I know what I’m capable of” — Jimmy Butler shines the brightest as the Miami Heat draws first blood against the Boston Celtics

After a remarkable 42-point half, the Heat limited the Celtics to shoot just 2 out 15 from the field (13.3%) in the third quarter

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James on the floor vs. Dallas Mavericks

LeBron James admits 2011 Finals loss vs. Dallas Mavericks was the toughest one in his career

LeBron opened up on what the catastrophic 2011 Finals loss taught him.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverly and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James

“The taxes are much, much lower than L.A.” — Patrick Beverley tries to recruit LeBron James to Minnesota

Patrick Beverley named several formidable reasons why LeBron James should go to Minnesota.

Luka Doncic on his first WCF appearance: “I’m living the best life right now”

Luka Doncic on his first WCF appearance: “I’m living the best life right now”

Will Luka Doncic continue to live his best life? Or will the Golden State Warriors make it hell for him in the next following days?