Same Side Squabbles

March 8, 2019

People on opposite teams may fight, but once in a while the spirit of competition gets so intense that people on the same team come to blows.


Today, Steve Kerr is one of the most successful coaches in the NBA, guiding the Golden State Warriors to three league titles in the last four years. Before he won championships as a coach, he won championships as a player: five in all as a backup guard for the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, alongside superstar Michael Jordan. But that doesn’t mean Kerr and Jordan were best friends. Air Jordan is famous for his ultra-competitiveness, and during a practice during training camp one year, he got mad at Kerr for something. Kerr has said he doesn’t remember what exactly, only that he dared stand up to Jordan…which is when Jordan punched him in the face. (After that, Kerr says, they became friends.)


In 1999, a few details emerged from the Detroit pistons organization that stars Jerry Stackhouse and Christian Laettner had gotten into a fist fight on the team jet while on the way back from a road game. The reason, reportedly: a very intense card game. A Pistons spokesman said that the story had been blown out of proportion, and the fight faded from memory…until 2013, when Stackhouse talked about the incident in an interview, saying that he had once given teammate Christian Laettner a black eye after a card game on a flight went awry.


During a 2005 Canadian Football League game, Toronto Argonauts wide receiver Robert Baker was spat on by a player from the other team. Later in the game, Baker’s teammate, Argonauts kicker Noel Prefontaine tried to get his attention when they were running off the field and grabbed him, which Baker didn’t take well. He violently pushed the away Prefontaine…and punched him in the mouth. Other teammates held Prefontaine back so he couldn’t retaliate. Good thing: Baker wound up punished with a one-game suspension.


The Golden State Warriors are overflowing with all-stars, which also means more potential for team leaders butting heads. After a loss in November 2018, star forward Draymond Green reportedly dogged star forward Kevin Durant, loudly calling him a bad word that begins with the letter “b.” (It apparently all began when Durant yelled at Green in a late-game timeout for not passing the ball when he should have.) The team suspended Green for one game for “conduct detrimental to the team.”