Date: 5/21/1986
Teams: Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Round: Game 5, Western Conference Finals
Winner: Earl Strom (referee)
The Lakers were the reigning NBA champs; the Rockets were the young guns with the Twin Towers, Ralph Sampson and Akeem Olajuwon, gunning for that No. 1 spot. Houston was up in the series 3-1, and about to send the Lakers packing on their home court, when Mitch Kupchak (as in current Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak) objected to a swipe from Olajuwon and hit The Dream with an arm check. Olajuwon most definitely objected to the arm check, and swung on Kupchak with the quickness, only to have referee Earl Strom put his life on the line to break things up. If Strom was six inches taller, the Rockets likely don't win their back-to-back titles in the '90s because Olajuwon would've been locked up on an involuntary manslaughter charge.