nick young

3 Most Memorable NBA Locker Room Scandals

The locker room (or dugout for some) is where the most fascinating and outrageous things happen. 

Sportsmanship, on top of friendship and camaraderie, is persistently emphasized. But ego and anger issues may block the way, resulting in some of the nastiest moments in the history of the NBA.

Giving basketball and NBA a bad name, here are some of the most controversial and shocking locker room scandals. 

And yes, the higher the shock value, the more memorable the incident became.

1) Gun taunting incident between Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton

And it all started with a card game while on the team plane!

Hotheads prevailed, resulting in claims they—Arenas and Crittenton—were familiar with firearms.

Two days later, during a practice, Arenas brought four guns and taunted Crittenton. Crittenton cocked a gun and pointed it on Arenas. A full standoff started, which was then broken up by the rest of the Washington Wizards especially Caron Butler.

The Wizards suspended both players for the remainder of the season. Arenas and Crittenton also faced gun possession charges.

Arenas continued playing with the team for a couple more seasons.

Crittenton, however, was convicted in 2011 due to voluntary manslaughter. He was involved in the shooting death of a woman in Atlanta.

2) A confrontation between Jermaine O’Neal and Rick Carlisle

It happened after the infamous—yep, you guessed it right—Malice at the Palace. No list of NBA scandals would be complete without mentioning this incident.

The 2004 brawl involved the Indiana Pacers specifically Ron Artest, Ben Wallace, and Stephen Jackson; Detroit Pistons; and their fans.

The intense mood was carried over to Pacers’ locker room. O’Neal, who also threw several punches on that night, yelled at his coach who was also calming players who were still on edge. For O’Neal, Carlisle held the players back and prevented them from fighting for themselves.

Carlisle matched the intensity of O’Neal’s voice, telling him that the staff tried to help. That’s all.

What could’ve been a mini brawl was stopped even before it happened, though.

3) A prank war between D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young

Gone too far a prank, Russell probably didn’t realize the consequences of him recorded his teammate, Young, while the latter was confessing about his cheating of then-fiance Iggy Azalea. Young was unaware that he was being recorded.

The scandal broke when the video was released publicly. The clip showed Russell asking, almost provoking, Young to confess about being and sleeping with other women who were not his ex-fiance.

As if it wasn’t cringe-worthy enough, Russell received the cold shoulder treatment from his teammates. Based on reports, Russell was forced to eat alone at one point. When he sat beside veterans, they would also walk away.

At the franchise level, there had been speculations about trust issues involving him.

It was also an antagonizing moment because the team was supposed to celebrate the exit of Kobe Bryant. This was one of the darkest times in the team’s history. 

Russell also bore the stigma of what he did until today. 

Featured Image Source

These are our choices, but if you are to pick the most unforgettable locker room scandals in the NBA, which one will you choose?

malice at the palace nba 2

Revisiting Malice at the Palace 15 Years After

Well, almost.

The most infamous brawl in NBA history, as the Associated Press described it, happened on November 19, 2004, at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Thus, the epithet ‘Malice at the Palace.’

After 15 years, the Pacers-Pistons brawl remains the darkest hour of the league. The scuffle also changed the way the entire NBA deal with physical confrontations after that.

What happened at the Malice of the Palace?

NBA’s official rules state that:

Violent acts of any nature on the court will not be tolerated. Players involved in altercations will be ejected, fined and/or suspended.

There is absolutely no justification for fighting in an NBA game. The fact that you may feel provoked by another player is not an acceptable excuse. If a player takes it upon himself to retaliate, he can expect to be subject to appropriate penalties. 

Mark Montieth said that you can always ask ten people about what happened and you’d have ten versions of the ‘perfect storm.’ It forever tarnished the image of the entire league and its players. Here’s what transpired.

The Pistons and Pacers are two of the best Eastern Conference teams. The November 19 can be considered as a rematch from the prior season’s conference finals. On the one hand, you have the defending league champion (Pistons); on the other hand, you have a five-injured player deficit (Pacers). The situation did not stop the latter from leading the game with 15 points.

Ben Wallace took the final ball possession and attempted a layup. Stephen Jackson failed to stop him, but Ron Artest approached then gave Wallace a hard foul. Wallace was knocked off and reverted by shoving his hands on Artest’s face and neck. Artest ended up reeling. 

The brawl started. 

Soon, members of both teams were trying to appease Wallace as he was too ready to attack Artest. Artest clowned on him while Wallace was shouting at him. Someone threw something and almost hit Artest. Wallace also threw a towel at him. Artest retaliated but was restrained. A beer cup was seen flying and landed on Artest’s chest squarely, splashing the beer content on his face.

The brawl ensued.

This, by far, was the longest 4 ½ minutes in NBA. 

The punishments mostly profoundly affected the players, including their behaviours off-court to the point of calling them ‘thugs’ as well as the rest of the players on how they need to conduct themselves on-court.

Again, it boils downs to the rules. Then Commissioner David Stern reacted firmly with the suspensions of Artest, Jackson, Wallace, Jermaine O’Neal, and Anthony Johnson, among others. Legal charges were also implemented, resulting in probation, fines, community service, and anger management therapy.

The aftermath of the brawl

Long after the blame game was done and over, the entire league countered the adverse effects of the Malice at the Palace. 

Existing security guidelines were tightened while new guidelines were also introduced. NBA teams increased protective measures for both players and arenas. Each needed to employ at least three security guards to protect the players and the fans.

On the fans’ side, the size limits for alcohol purchases, which is now at 710 mL, were issued. This included the hard cap of two alcoholic beverages per individual. No alcohol must be sold after the third quarter of the game.

To wit, these changes had been the most significant lessons of this notorious NBA melee.

Featured Image Source

Does the NBA become a better place after the slew of changes following the cringe-worthy brawl? Let us know!