“Where Amazing Happens” is a statement that indeed describes the NBA and everyone who is involved in the league – starting from players, coaches, owners, and fans. In some way, one of those incredible and weird moments happened 40 years ago in a game between the Nets & Sixers.
A game in the 1978-79 season produces perhaps the oddest box score in NBA history. On November 8 in 1978, the Nets protested a loss to the Sixers after Bernard King and coach Kevin Loughery were assessed with three technical fouls. First, Nets forward Bernard King received his second technical foul and ejected.
On his way off the court, he kicked a chair and immediately got his third technical foul. Nets coach Kevin Loughery, who had been assessed a technical earlier in the game, rose to object and was hit with two more technicals, prompting his ejection and netting him three for the night.
With Loughery ejected, they needed an assistant coach to assume head coaching duties. Phil Jackson, now at the end of his career, was a player/assistant coach for the Nets and took over the coaching duties. That’s right, this game was the Zen-master’s first foray into NBA head coaching! He also scored 4 points!
Larry O’Brien, the NBA commissioner, upheld the Nets protest and ordered the game to be restarted at 5:50 remaining the 3rd quarter.
The game was rescheduled for March 23, 1979. In the meantime, the teams made a four-player trade sending Eric Money and Al Skinner to the Sixers, and Harvey Catchings, and Ralph Simpson to the Nets. Guard Eric Money scored 23 points for the Nets, and later on 4 points for the Sixers in a game that took 4 and half months to finish.
Here are the box scores of the game: