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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Justin Quinn

Celtics icon Robert Parish on the first time he lost his cool on the court

The career of Boston Celtics legendary big man Robert Parish is sometimes overshadowed by a single moment in his career he wishes he could take back. While the Chief enjoyed a Hall of Fame-worthy career with the Celtics and Chicago Bulls, the brawl with Detroit Pistons’ Bill Laimbeer during Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference finals is a black mark Parish hopes people will look past.

Parish recently discussed this infamous altercation on the CLNS Media “NBA History and Storytellers” podcast to talk about it. “I think fans can let it go because I have let it go,” he offered via Sports Illustrated’s Shandel Richardson.

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“In the heat of the battle, that was the first time I ever lost control of my emotions and my temper.”

“We had exchanged a few unpleasantries toward one another,” he continued.  “Then a few elbows passed between us. Then I just lost it throwing punches … I couldn’t believe I lost my composure. That was the first time ever.”

His interlocutor, former teammate and now broadcaster Cedric Maxwell remarked he was most surprised by the lack of support Laimbeer had from his teammates.

“I was looking over my shoulder, Max, to be honest. But like you said, no one helped him. I don’t know what kind of message they were trying to send to him — I guess they were tired of the antics,” said Parish.

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

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