I remember first learning about Kermit Washington back when I was 14 in the classic NBA book "Breaks of the Game." I actually felt bad for him that he became such a NBA pariah. He threw a wild punch and it had a devastating result. How many others have thrown the same punch and not connected so horrifically? In a way I find it similar to when a drunk driver commits vehicular manslaughter and their life is never the same. Their intent to kill is no greater than any one that we know that has gotten behind the wheel with one too many.
Was Kermit Washington's intent to harm Rudy Tomjanovich any greater than let's say Ralph Sampson's intent to harm Jerry Sichting in the 1986 Finals? Or when crazy man Stephen Jackson ran into the stands in the Malice in the Palace and started randomly punching fans, is he less of a bad guy or is he simply lucky that his punches didn't connect as accurately as Kermit's? Jackson has gone on to make multi millions in the NBA while Washington became an outcast. What's your view on Kermit Washington and "The Punch?"