Parish vs. Laimbeer - flagrant punches conveniently unnoticed

The three punches thrown by Celtics Center Robert Parish in the 1987 playoff series against the Detroit Pistons were surprising enough. Robert had a very mild manner and violence was not his thing. The target of his attack was the much-hated Bill Laimbeer. The biggest surprise was the fact that the act went supposedly unnoticed by three referees and a Celtics homey/announcer by the name of Johnny Most. Here is a video of the incident, followed by six comments on the video:

Best part of this was that Chief didn't even get a personal. Refs were like "Yup, fuck that guy"

Is there a human being alive who doesn't despise Bill Laimbeer? Nice work Chief.

Incidental contact. Play on!

Laimbeer was a punk and an all around asshole. Don't fuck with Chief! Note the cop starting to walk out onto the floor and stops. What was he going to do, arrest Parish in front if his home crowd?

And parish didnt even get rejected. If that happened today in the nba, it couldve been a two game suspension at least.😂😂😂

The refs were like "no harm done play on" haha

The following is an analysis of the action and failure-to-notice-physical-attack situations that took place, per the Chicago tribune's Mike Bruton. The part about the late Johnny Most was not at all surprising.

He struck Laimbeer in the face two or three times, with an official standing less than 10 feet away.

Yes, there was a whistle--on forward Darren Daye for a loose-ball foul

--but why wasn`t Parish, who the next day was suspended for a game and fined $7,500 for the incident, ejected?

If referees Jess Kersey and Jack Madden, as they said afterward, failed to see the punches, shouldn`t they have appealed to alternate referee Mike Mathis, who sat at the scorer`s table, when they became aware that they had missed something?

George Blaha, who announces Pistons games on Detroit radio station WWJ, called it this way: ``Tapped by Parish, no! And Parish just swung on Laimbeer and knocked him down.`` Blaha said moments later: ``Three sucker punches by Robert Parish and he`s still in the game. It`s not somebody up there; it`s somebody down here who likes Boston.``

Johnny Most, of Boston`s WRKO radio, who doesn`t hide an extreme prejudice for the Celtics, didn`t comment until his co-announcer, Glenn Ordway, stated the facts.

``The rebound is no good,`` Most said. ``The rebound now . . .`` Ordway picked it up and added: ``Whoa! Parish nailed Laimbeer! He nailed him!``

Most continued, ``Parish nailed Laimbeer, and Laimbeer is down and he is hurt.``

Referees, cops and Johnny Most all missed (blotted out?) the incident. The following take is from ESPN's Bill Simmons after attending another Pistons/Celts playoff meeting 15 years later with his father:

He's (Laimbeer) about 50 pounds heavier now than he was during his playing career -- equipped with a gigantic pot belly -- and his hair seems to be graying a little on top. Other than that, he's still the anti-Christ.

"That was great," Dad said. "God, I hate that guy."

Don't we all. To this day, 30 years later. As far as the refs, maybe they were focusing on Danny Ainge (he's in the video) complaining about something. He was known for doing that. The cop (or security guard) probably wasn't thrilled with separating two very big combatants. Johnny Most? His view was no doubt obscured by clouds of self-produced smoke. Or maybe they all simply hated Bill Laimbeer. Makes sense.

Video via Hoops Madness
Photo via Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images