Throwback Thursday: Willis Reed fights entire Lakers bench in 1966 [Video]


It’s Throwback Thursday. In honor of that, here’s footage from a 1966 NBA game between the Knicks and the Lakers. In this game, Willis Reed took on the entire Lakers bench.


Reed was […] in his third NBA season and his first as team captain. He was a second-round pick, a battler who was a fighter literally from his first day of school as an only child growing up in rural Bernice, Louisiana.

And Rudy LaRusso was getting on his nerves.

The two lined up along the lane for a free throw at the old Garden on 49th Street and battled for rebounding position. Reed — accidentally or not — tripped LaRusso, who quickly took offense. The 6’7″ forward, a five-time All-Star who came from Brooklyn, threw a punch at Reed just as Lakers center Darrall Imhoff had grabbed Reed in a bear hug, which left him defenseless. […]
Suddenly, a one-man melee resulted, as Reed pounded Imhoff and then went after LaRusso, who ran to the Lakers bench. A 6’9″ rookie named John Block came at him, fists raised, but Reed dropped him with a hammer that sent Block toppling backward. He took out five of his teammates as he fell.

“They said I should be banned,” Reed said in the October 31, 1977, issue of Sports Illustrated. “All I got was an ejection and a small fine, nothing like what they give out now. You know what would happen if someone did all that today?”

If you missed ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary, “When the Garden was Eden” that this clip came from, make sure you check out the re-air.

spotted at Ball is Life