With Rajon Rondo riding the bench for a night following a ‘verbal altercation’ with Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, we wanted to look back at some of the best pro sports fights either between players and coaches, or coaches and coaches – on or off the court/field/rink.
1. 49ers quarterback Troy Smith threw an interception to Rams safety Oshiomogho Atogwe in 2010 giving the Rams a victory over San Fran. After the play, Smith and head coach Mike Singletary started to scream at each other on the sideline.
In the middle of the argument, San Francisco’s Ted Ginn Jr. got in between the two and started to rub a towel in Smith’s face. Smith continued to shout at Singletary and was later benched for Alex Smith.
2. During a 41-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Adam Hayward got into an altercation with defensive coach Bryan Cox.
TV cameras caught it all as Hayward stepped in front of Cox (a former NFL linebacker) as the coach yelled toward the field. Cox then pushed to dismiss Hayward, who responded by shoving Cox back. Cox then turned his full attention to Hayward, putting his finger in the linebacker’s face as the two jawed back and fourth.
3. In Game 2 of the first round during the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Buffalo Sabres destroyed the Philadelphia Flyers 8-2.
After the game, then Sabres coach Lindy Ruff started a war of words with Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock because Ruff thought the Flyers were playing dirty. Ken Hitchcock didn’t mince words.
4. During the 1987-88 NHL season, the Minnesota North Stars (now Dallas Stars) and the Detroit Red Wings got into a brawl – and coaches Herb Brooks and Jacques Demers were right in the middle of it.
The glass between the two benches isn’t enough to stop coaches from going at each other and the players have to intervene…and of course, the fans loved it.
5. And no, Rondo’s run-in with Mavs coach Rick Carlisle isn’t his first coach-clash.
Rondo and legendary coach Doc Rivers had many ups and downs over the years. Things came to a head in 2014 when Rondo dropped an F-bomb on his coach during a Celtics team meeting. Rivers apparently lost his cool and had to be restrained from physically fighting the 27-year-old.
5. During the 2013 game between South Carolina and Georgia, Gamecocks assistant coaches Kirk Botkin and Deke Adams were caught by ESPN cameras arguing, jawing, chest-bumping and pseudo-shoving along the sidelines.
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