Skip to main content

George Karl will never forget a playoff game when Chris Mullin "knocked the s**t out" of a Utah Jazz fan

George Karl was once accused of punching a fan during the game but it was none other than Chris Mullin who decided to take it out on a insulting fan
George Karl recalls a wild playoff game when Chris Mullin punched a Utah Jazz fan

In his book, Karl provides a bit different explanation of what really happened on the court when everyone started to go after each other,

Long-time NBA head coach George Karl has pretty much seen it all in the NBA over a four-decade-long career in which he was involved with the league, first as a player and then, for the most part, as a coach. Karl is 6th all-time when it comes to total wins in the NBA as a head coach and has the opportunity to coach quite a few HOF players and some pretty iconic teams throughout his career. 

The media said Karl attacked the fan

Even with such a vast collection of stories and memories from all the games he coached in his career, a few moments stand out among all the others. In his book 'Furious George", Karl describes a crazy playoff game when he coached the Golden State Warriors against the Utah Jazz back in the 80s. Both teams were up and coming in the NBA, with Jazz having a bit more talent, with prime Karl Malone and John Stockton leading the way, alongside a tremendous supporting cast. 

The Warriors lost the first two games, which meant one more loss resulted in elimination because back then, it was the best out of five. Those consecutive losses infuriated Karl so much, and before he knew it, a massive scuffle broke out between players and fans that made the thing even worse. The TV play-by-play guy even said George Karl assaulted the fan. 

“George Karl is going at a fan! George Karl is going at a fan! George Karl is going at a fan! Now George knocks him over!” shouted our TV play-by-play guy to the viewers back in the Bay. “George Karl has lost it and he has attacked a fan!”

In the book, Karl provides a bit different explanation of what really happened on the court when everyone started to go after each other, which turned out into a scuffle between Karl Malone and one of the Warriors players, after which fans got involved as well. 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

"Perhaps I should explain: our Greg Ballard and Malone got into it a little as Game Two ended. Karl threw the ball at Greg, and Greg threw it back harder. Security wasn’t very good, so a bunch of fans spilled out onto the floor along with every player and coach. Lots of shoving, a crazy, disorganized scene, including rehabbed Chris Washburn trading insults with Mark Eaton and having to be held back."

Mullin took care of business

According to Karl, a guy with a white cap went after him and punched him in the back, after which Karl no longer cared what happened. So he stormed toward the fan, but it was none other than Chris Mullin who stepped in and did what Karl intended to do initially, knock the fan out cold. 

"While I was trying to break up a scuffle, some dumbass in a backward white ball cap and a white golf shirt punched me in the back. I was already unhappy at the final score, and now this! I turned around and charged. White hat guy backpedaled through the confusion of bodies, and then Chris Mullin—not me—knocked the shit out of him. I didn’t really lose it.”

After losing that specific game after an incident that would probably be all over ESPN if it happened today, the Warriors won the next two games at home and eventually won the series in five games. It was also a learning experience for Karl, who noticed moments like these could inspire players and fans to bring that little extra to the next game. 

“Now our team and our fans had emotion to burn—I stirred the pot a little bit in the media—and we won the next two games at home to tie. But no way could we win Game Five back in Salt Lake City. No NBA team had come back from two games down to win a five-game series since the Fort Wayne Pistons did it in 1956."

That Warriors squad lost in the second round to the Showtime Lakers that ended up winning the championship that season. However, that specific series against the Jazz showed Karl that sometimes brutal and somewhat crazy moments can bring life into a team and into the fan base facing elimination in the most critical part of the season.

giannis-jrue-kris-richard-jefferson

Richard Jefferson thinks the Milwaukee Bucks have the best Big 3 in the NBA

The Milwaukee Bucks Big Three has championship pedigree says Richard Jefferson

Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge

“Tree Bites Man” — when Danny Ainge almost lost a finger in the 1983 playoffs

The Boston Herald came up with one of the funniest headlines of all time.

Boston Celtics head coach Red Auerbach

“How many of these you consider ethical or unethical depends entirely on your organization.” — 4 moves from Red Auerbach's "57 Strategies" that players still do today

LeBron James, Chris Paul, and James Harden are just some of the greats who have picked up a thing or two from the great Red Auerbach.

Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal

How Dwight Howard wants to settle his beef with Shaquille O'Neal: "I've got some jokes for his big ugly ass!"

In the episode of All the Smoke podcast, Dwight was asked about his relationship with Big Diesel and shared how he would like to settle their beef

LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal

”I can truthfully say that I'm jealous of that feat“ — Shaquille O'Neal on LeBron James potentially passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the NBA All-time scoring list

If he averages 27.1 points (his career average) every game and doesn't sit one out, LeBron will pass Kareem on January 25th.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and guard Jordan Poole

Bay Area brouhaha — Draymond Green took a swing at Jordan Poole

Green and Poole were at each other’s throats once again, but this time, Draymond crossed the line.

Doc Rivers outlines his expectations for James Harden this season

Doc Rivers expects James Harden to play like a "scoring Magic Johnson” this season

Rivers said he wants Harden to play like a scoring Magic Johnson this season and attempt to focus on being both a facilitator and a scorer for the 76ers this season