On this day ...

Right on. Saw him get into an actual boxing style punches thrown fight with Cliff Ray. No one joined and the officials let the guys punch themselves into a position where the respective teams could kind of tackle their fighters and drag them to the bench.

There was some controversy about the officials not stepping in. The officials said they would be injured if they stepped between the fighters because there was no pause in the fighting. Surprised no one was knocked down because both guys took some big punches to the head.
His physicality kept him around long after he had lost a step, then two steps. Team frequently kept three centers on the roster in the early 80's and would use all 18 fouls if necessary.
They used to call fouls as fouls were seen, albeit with a liberal allowance for physical play. I saw two triple OT finals games. The first, in 76 I think, Celtics vs. Suns. The teams were mostly down to the deep bench. In the 90s MJ was playing Chuck and the Suns. I think no one of significance fouled out.

Remember when CBS, I think, had a regional game at noon and a national game at three. Growing up in Ottumwa, we would get a lot of Bulls, Kings, Bucks and Detroit as the regional games. Looking back today's kids would be stunned at the level of physicality in the 70s and 80s. The league wanted high scoring games, so no one ever played much team defense, except the Knicks.

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