The Most Heated Rivalries in NBA History

Robert Parish vs. Bill Laimbeer

No rivalry is complete without a little passing of the proverbial torch. The Boston Celtics ruled the Eastern Conference for much of the ’80s…until the Bad Boys from Detroit flew onto the scene. Parish was a stoic yet immensely intimidating force for the Celtics. He commanded the respect of virtually anyone he played with or against.

On the other side of the coin, Laimbeer — though a very good player in his own right — was an irritant. He got involved in more than a few scraps. It was only natural for Laimbeer to get under the skin of the man they called “Chief”. In Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals, Parish had enough of Laimbeer’s “dirty” play. The big man clocked Laimbeer in the face multiple times before only being called for a personal foul. Ah, the days of physical basketball.

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