The NBA is one of the biggest sports leagues in the world, and I have been a fan for nearly three decades.
1. Zaza Pachulia Injured Kawhi Leonard
The Warriors and Spurs had developed quite a rivalry. The Spurs were the established powerhouse of the West and had five championships to their name. Their last one was in 2014. The Warriors were the new kids on the block with their own championship in 2015. It was their first title in 40 years.
The 2017 Western Conference Finals was supposed to be the de-facto NBA Finals as any of the two teams were more than capable of dismantling any team coming out of the East. What was supposed to be a six or seven-game series ended in a sweep as Zaza Pachulia slid into Kawhi Leonard's landing space; this caused Kawhi to have a left ankle injury. He would miss the rest of the series. The Spurs were actually leading by 20 points before the incident occurred.
With Kawhi out, the Spurs were without their leaders (Tim Duncan had retired in the previous season). The team ended up crumbling. They lost their 20-point advantage and ended up losing to the Warriors 113-111. If it was another player, one could say it was an accident. Unfortunately, Pachulia has a history of hurting and injuring opposing players.
2. Kermit Washington Punches Rudy Tomjanovic
Basketball is supposed to be a non-combat sport. However, there have been players in the league that have treated the game of basketball as a boxing or wrestling match. While Kermit Washington had a good reputation prior to this incident, this event tarnished his reputation for the rest of his life. He will forever be known as the guy who punched Rudy Tomjanovic.
While fights happen a lot in professional sports, this incident could have turned fatal. Norm Nixon, a Laker's guard, missed a shot. Kevin Kunnert, a Rockets center, and Kermit Washington, a Lakers power forward, were battling for the rebound. The battle was intense and led to a fight between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kunnert.
Washington stayed behind to serve as backup for Kunnert. Rudy Tomjanovic tried to break up the fight, but while he was running to the scene, he got a knockout punch from Washington. Tomjanovic was punched so hard that he was knocked out in a pool of his own blood. The incident fractured his face and he needed to wear protective gear after that.
For his actions, Washington was suspended for 26 games and fined $10,000. This is $44,289 in 2021 dollars. Keep in mind that NBA players did not make millions back then as the league was struggling. Washington was also ostracized in the community and he and his family became pariahs.
Rudy has since forgiven Kermit for his actions. It appeared that Kermit had cleaned up his act. However, on May 25, 2016, he was indicted for embezzling an estimated $500,000 that was meant for kids in Africa.
3. Blake Griffin Leaves His Ex-Fiancee Homeless
The Jenners and Kardashians have been involved in dating NBA players. While there is nothing wrong with that, this particular relationship ruined what was about to be the marriage between Blake Griffin and his fiancee´ Brynn Cameron.
Cameron and Griffin had planned to get married on July 28, 2017. The wedding never happened as Griffin got together with Kylie Jenner instead. Brynn gave up her job back in 2013 to raise their kids, Ford Wilson, and Finley Elaine. While she fulfilled her end of the deal, Blake did not. Not only did he fool around with Kylie, but he did not want to provide child support and he left them homeless.
Blake and Kylie's fling did not last. They separated after less than a year and Kylie moved on to Ben Simmons. For someone earning tens of millions of dollars a year, it is shameful that Blake did not provide for his family.
4. Larry Bird Was a Bad Father to His Daughter Corrie
Larry was born to Georgia and Joe Bird on December 7, 1956. While Larry's mom was a responsible parent and even had two jobs to support the family, his father was an alcoholic who committed suicide a year after he separated from Georgia.
Larry did not let a rough childhood stop him from being successful. At one point, he was one of the two best NBA players on the planet alongside Magic Johnson. Unfortunately, Larry became a bad father just like Joe did.
While Larry was not an alcoholic or drug addict, he did not have a relationship with his daughter Corrie. Larry claimed that the reason he did not have a relationship with Corrie is because of differences between him and her mother Janet. He simply did not spend much time with her despite the fact that she is his only biological daughter.
Corrie tried her best to have a relationship with her dad and she tried to visit him during practices and games. This makes no sense as it is Larry who is supposed to be the mature person and exert effort to have a relationship with his daughter. With the advances in technology, he could easily call her on a regular basis. He has the money to easily fly to her location or have her flown to his location and spend quality time with her.
5. Malik Beasley Cheats on His Wife With Larsa Pippen
While Scottie Pippen had a career that many players would be envious of, his marriage is not what many people would want. Larsa Younan is best known as a star on the show Real Housewives of Miami. She is also known for the men she dated while being married to Scottie, such as Future, Eric Moreland, Tristan Thompson, and Malik Beasley.
Larsa and Scottie first met in 1995, and they were married in 1997 without a prenup. They had four kids together—Scotty Jr., Preston, Justin, and Sophia.
Malik Beasley was the 19th overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft. He was drafted by the Denver Nuggets. After three and a half seasons with the Nuggets, he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves where he blossomed. Malik married model Montana Yao and she gave up her career to raise their child, Makai. After a few months of marriage, Malik cheated on Montana with a woman who is old enough to be his mom.
In December 2020, Yao filed for divorce and for spousal and child support. Malik's selfishness ruined his family, and the fling he had with Larsa only lasted four months. They separated due to distance issues.
© 2021 Jan Michael Ong