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THE NBA PLAYOFFS : NBA Fights Back, Fines and Suspends Parish for Punches

May 28, 1987|Associated Press

NEW YORK — Boston Celtic center Robert Parish was fined $7,500 and suspended for a game Wednesday for punching Detroit Piston center Bill Laimbeer during Tuesday night's National Basketball Assn. Eastern Conference playoff game at Boston Garden.

"Fighting has no part in our game, and we will do whatever it takes in terms of increased fines and suspensions to see that it is eliminated," said Rod Thorn, NBA vice president.

Parish re-sprained his left ankle in the game and was not expected to play in Game 6 of the series Thursday night at Detroit. But Thorn said that the NBA suspended Parish anyway "so he is ineligible to play no matter what his physical condition."

Laimbeer and Parish were battling for a rebound in the second quarter when Parish hit the Detroit center three times and knocked him down. Game officials said they didn't see the blows, so Parish was not penalized at the time.

The Pistons asked the NBA to take action against official Jess Kersey for ignoring Parish's actions.

Kersey and the other official, Jack Madden, consulted with the third official, at the scorer's table, but no foul was called.

"I cannot comment on the other officials, because I am not aware if they saw the violence," Piston General Manager Jack McCloskey said. "I have urged and expect the league to take strong punitive action against Parish and referee Kersey.

"This protest would have been made regardless of the outcome of the game."

Boston won the game, 108-107, when Larry Bird stole an inbounds pass and fed it to Dennis Johnson for the winning basket with one second remaining.

"Last night's lack of action by referee Jess Kersey has to be an embarrassment to every man or woman who has ever officiated any contest from the Little League to the Super Bowl," McCloskey said.

Earlier this week, Laimbeer was fined $5,000 for knocking Larry Bird down during Game 3. Bird was fined $2,000 for retaliating by throwing punches at Laimbeer.

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