Throwback: Shaquille O’Neal was sent off for punching Detroit’s Alvin Robertson

Maintaining order on the court is a priority for the NBA. A player who violates any rule must face consequences, disregarding his reputation or physical intimidation. Take Shaquille O’Neal, for example. Back in 1993, as a rookie with the Orlando Magic, he got into a brawl during a game against the Detroit Pistons.

This incident resulted in a suspension and a hefty fine from the NBA. Shaquille’s case serves as a reminder of the league’s tough stance on player behavior and the potential consequences of on-court altercations.

When Shaquille O’Neal was fined $10,000 for punching Alvin Robertson

Shaquille O’Neal got into a scuffle with Alvin Robertson from the Pistons during a game. This happened when Robertson tried intervening between O’Neal and Bill Laimbeer, thinking he could calm things down. Unfortunately, O’Neal accidentally hit Robertson on the side of the head during the commotion, which cost him a $10,250 fine.

Robertson was fined $7,500 too for reacting to the situation. O’Neal, however, received a bigger fine because the NBA saw him as the one who started the trouble.

The Pistons’ coach, Ron Rothstein, believed that the whole incident could have been avoided if the referee had called a foul on Laimbeer when it happened. Instead, the call was delayed until Laimbeer had already grabbed O’Neal tightly.

When Shaquille O'Neal was fined $10,000 for punching Alvin Robertson
via NBA

According to Rothstein, it was a straightforward call that the referee missed, which escalated the situation. Laimbeer had committed a similar foul earlier in the game, prompting O’Neal to warn him not to do it again.

O’Neal explained that he felt justified in reacting because he didn’t want to appear weak by letting someone hit him without fighting back. This led to his ejection from the game, and he was suspended, meaning he couldn’t play in the next game against the Charlotte Hornets.

According to Rod Thorn, the NBA’s vice president of operations, another player, Coleman, avoided suspension for a similar incident because his punch didn’t land. However, another player, Gilliam, was fined $2,000 for retaliating.

Shaquille O’Neal previously nearly killed Brad Miller

Things got heated on the court on January 12, 2002. Shaquille O’Neal, a dominant force and four-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, got into a physical altercation with Chicago Bulls center Brad Miller. After enduring what O’Neal felt were repeated intentional fouls from Miller, he could no longer resist himself.

O’Neal threw a punch at Miller, though thankfully it didn’t connect squarely. The incident resulted in a three-game suspension and a $15,000 fine for O’Neal, highlighting the importance of maintaining sportsmanship on the court.

“I didn’t wanna hit him on the back, but as soon as he turns to the side, I wanted to bust his eardrums up that’s all. I wanted him to hear f tweety birds for the rest of his life,” said the Big Diesel in an episode of Big Podcast with Shaq.

Do let us know your thoughts on Shaquille O’Neal in the comment section; we would love to hear about it.


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