NBA players are known for a lot of things. Being good at basketball is the most obvious, but there’s some who are also known for hurling punches toward people or things. It sounds odd, but it should! NBA players punching things often result in injury.
With that being the case, we’re going to look at five NBA players who injured themselves punching things and/or people.
A quick aside: This is why they’re in the NBA and not in the UFC.
The LeBron James Incident
Infamously remembered by Cavs fans as one of the most frustrating moments in franchise history, J.R. Smith grabbed a rebound and dribbled out the clock with the game tied, and LBJ wide open at the top of the key.
The Cavaliers would go on to lose Game 1 in overtime. It was not fun.
After Smith’s blunder, LeBron took out his anger on a whiteboard, punching one in the locker room after the loss.
After his team was swept out of the Finals, LeBron James revealed his hand was broken since Game 1, due to a self inflicted injury.
NBA Video Game Rage!
While he might not technically have played a game in the NBA yet, Joel Berry’s story is probably the most relatable. At least to those of us who love video games — not so much with NBA players injuring themselves punching things.
While playing 2K with UNC teammate Theo Pinson, Berry didn’t take too kindly to a tough loss. On the way out of the dorm room, Berry punched a door, breaking his pinkie.
Berry would turn it into a positive, claiming it would give him time to work on his left hand. That’s some neat optimism!
Currently, Berry plays in the G-League affiliate for the Charlotte Hornets.
The Fire Extinguisher From Hell?
Former Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire took out his anger on… A fire extinguisher? Why the hell not?
After a Game 2 loss to the Heat in the 2012 playoffs, Stoudemire was fuming as he walked to the locker room. The closest item in reach was a glass case, which Stoudemire punched through.
The glass cut Stoudemire’s hand so badly, he was forced to sit out the next three games. The Heat would go on to win in five games, and win the championship a few weeks later.
The punch marks a depressing chapter for Knicks fans that they still have not broken out of.
Big Bully Blake?
Blake Griffin has been dealing with injuries his whole career, but this is definitely his most bizarre.
In 2016, he broke his hand after punching a Clippers equipment manager.
The former number one overall pick and dynamic dunker lost his temper outside a restaurant and clocked the staff member in the face, which happens to the best of us… I guess?
He was promptly suspended by the Clippers, and had his salary donated to charity for the four game hiatus.
Bruce Lee’s Tallest NBA Student
Kareem Abdul Jabbar is best known for his deadly hook shot. However, his right hook also caused some damage on the floor.
During a game in 1977, Kareem decked Kent Benson in the face as the two jostled for position.
Abdul-Jabbar was fined $5,000, which wasn’t as bad as the 20 games he was forced to miss with a broken hand.
Kareem was unapologetic about the sucker punch, claiming he didn’t regret punching Benson and wouldn’t change his actions if given another chance.
There’s a moral to all these stories. If you’re an NBA player, ready to throw down some fisticuffs with another person or an inanimate object, maybe don’t?
5 NBA Players Who Injured Themselves Punching Things (Honorable Mention)
Larry Bird allegedly punching bartender Mike Harlow.
Well, maybe not so much allegedly, as he owned up to it, paying Harlow an out of court settlement.
“The one good thing about all this is that maybe people finally understand that I’m human. I make mistakes; I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I like to drink beer and go out and have a good time–I’m human.”
Larry Legend, us too, pal! Us too!
Carlos Boozer punches a ref in the hoo-ha!
This should go without saying, but this legendary moment was unintentional. Also, Boozer didn’t actually hurt himself here or anything. That being said, how in good faith can we do a list of NBA players punching things or people and not highlight possibly the greatest Carlos Boozer film of all-time?
I can feel that on my insides. And my outsides. As well as my eternal and external souls.
Seriously, my goodness, maybe Boozer didn’t hurt myself, but an entire gender of people around the globe can feel that on their insides.