Basketball is a fast-paced and hectic sport full of larger than life characters – often quite literally. Personalities (and bodies) clash on the court, and it isn’t surprising that the sport has produced some truly surreal moments.
Some odd moments have shocked people in the bleachers and left people staring at their basketball live streaming service in disbelief. Here are some of the strangest things to happen in the world of basketball.
The 2014 Shoe War
Conventionally, basketball is played with, well, a ball. In a 2014 game between the Golden State Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks, a parallel sport was played – with Marreese Speights’ shoe. Speights lost his shoe during play and was forced to hobble around awkwardly while opposition players tossed it around in order to thwart him. Classic schoolyard bullying on the biggest stage.
Malice at the Palace
November 19th 2004 is a day that will live in infamy among American basketball fans. During a match between fierce rivals the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers all hell broke loose after a scuffle between players at the Auburn Hills Palace stadium. Detroit pistons players, angered by what they saw as provocation by the furious crowd, ran into the stands. A massive brawl ensued that would change the way basketball events were held forever. After the brawl, sales of alcohol to fans were curbed and tight security measures were installed. Several players received suspended prison sentences for their roles in the dust up.
Dennis Rodman’s Love of North Korea
As well as being one of the best basketball players of all time, Dennis Rodman is a true eccentric. Rodman’s post-basketball career has been incredibly bizarre. In 2013, Rodman took his first trip to the secretive state of North Korea in order to host a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition game in Pyongyang. He dubbed the trip as an exercise in ‘basketball diplomacy’. During this first trip, he became friends with the dictator of the hermit kingdom – Kim Jong Un. Rodman would regularly travel to the isolated country to coach basketball teams and hang out with his powerful new pal – who was apparently a huge Chicago Bulls fan. He even helped secure the release of an American missionary who was being held captive by the North Korean police.
The Bubba Bullying Bonanza
Speaking of Dennis Rodman, the basketball great was on the receiving end of some particularly strange play in a 1997 game between the Chicago Bulls and the Dallas Mavericks. Bubba Wells, a little-used reserve player for the Mavericks, was bought on in order to intentionally injure Rodman. Bubba committed six fouls on Dennis Rodman in under 3 minutes of playing time. This was an all-time record. The cynical ploy worked, and Rodman was put out of the game. It must have felt like a strange form of flattery to Rodman, who was considered so unstoppable within the rules of the game that he had to be fouled out.
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