LA-Streetball.com - November 1984, early-season game antar jagoan Eastern Conference berakhir dengan dua pemain terbaik di NBA saat itu yang saling adu jotos. Juara bertahan Boston Celtics dengan Larry Bird dan Philadelphia 76ers dengan Julius Erving. Waktu itu Bird bermain dengan sangat bagus, nyetak 42 points dalam 30 menit dan pertandingan semakin memanas. Tiba-tiba ada late offensive foul untuk Bird karena dia mengayunkan sikutnya ke Erving, yang kemudian memancing keributan besar.
Erving dan Bird bebas dari skorsing, tapi mereka harus membayar denda sebesar $7.500! Saat itu, jumlah tersebut adalah jumlah denda pemain tertinggi kedua sepanjang sejarah NBA. Baru-baru ini Erving diwawancarai oleh ESPN's Get Up! dan memberikan side story versinya, yang berisi:
“There’s a photograph of Larry and I choking one another, and neither one of us sign it. It always shows up at the card shows and whatever, we’re not going to dignify it, dignify the moment, because the game isn’t really about fighting unless you’re in game and the clock is running. Then it’s always a fight, it’s always a battle.
…. Early in November, the Celtics were ready to go. They came out ready and red-hot and roaring, and we were kind of ‘OK, we just won this thing,’ we played the longest season so we’re just getting started – and we’re breaking in a new player.
So the fight, actually, there was an offensive foul called on Larry. He didn’t like the call so he was really mad at the referee. And he came down court and he was kind of like stomping. He was in front of his bench, and it looked like a moment in which he was going to take a swing. It was very uncharacteristic because, you know, we did Converse commercials together, we did Spalding commercials together, so we were kind of cool. But I thought something was going to happen, because he was definitely mad – but he was mad at the referee, he wasn’t mad at me.
I just extended my arm to hold him back, and it ended up sliding up to his neck. Then it was on. So it was really inadvertent. I didn’t really mean to grab him by the neck. I pushed him in the chest, hand slid up, got to his neck, he reaches for my neck… Next thing I know, it’s a melee. That was it.”
Jadi sekarang udah jelas kan ballers? Sebenernya mereka tuh gak musuhan dan kejadian itu terjadi karena salah paham. Tapi ya mereka udah terlanjur dapet denda yang gede banget, $7.500 di tahun 1984. Gak ngebayang jumlahnya kalo di zaman sekarang berapa tuh?!
Buat ngingetin kejadiannya kayak apa, langsung aja disini: