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22. The Punch

Date: 12/9/1977
Game: Houston Rockets vs. LA Lakers
Location: The Forum (Inglewood, CA)

Arguably one of the most unfortunate events in a young player's life. "The Punch," as it's became known, was a classic case of wrong place, wrong time. Rudy Tomjanovich was simply rushing to the aid of his teammate during an on-court brawl between the Rockets and the Lakers. Kermit Washington caught Tomjanovich out of the corner of his eye and he swung around and landed a punch that broke Rudy's face. Literally. This sidelined him for five months at the height of his career and Tomjanovich was never the same player. When he finally came to on the floor, he asked if the scoreboard fell on him. Note to self: don't cross Kermit Washington.

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