Where Heat's battle with Pelicans ranks all-time in Miami melee history

The Miami Heat always get chipy. But unlike other organizations, it ignites the meanest, nastiest organization in the NBA.

Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers
Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 4
Next

Some call today's NBA soft. Soft in the sense that nobody will do anything in these mini-skirmishes. A contentious foul sparks chatter between opponents, yet usually, players remain calm to avoid jeopardizing the team. The typical "hold me back" move happens frequently today. 

This is basketball! There's no place for actual fighting. Basketball is a sophisticated skill-based game, not an arm wrestling contest. That's true; this is a team sport, and fisticuffs don't make players better than one another. But what can we say? People enjoy physical combat; it's always been a thing. 

From the gladiator days to current boxing and mixed martial arts, humans like to see others get their hands dirty. The adrenaline and solidarity in these moments tighten teammates' bonds. Great teams thrive when honestly is in the building. 

The NBA tends to be on the pillow side these days, but the Miami Heat don't fit into that pocket. The players change, but at the end of the day, every single year, the Heat remains a gritty organization that backs down from no one.

Heat vs Pelicans

The history of Heat basketball explains why the Pelicans' "brawl" wasn't surprising. Kevin Love wrapped up Zion Williamson to prevent an easy basket, and Naji Marshall wasn't a fan of that. Things escalated, and Marshall put his hand around Butler's neck. That's a no-go. Marshall got on his bicycle and trotted backward as numerous people held him back while Butler approached him. 

Thomas Bryant got in on the action and threw a few punches in a Davis vs. Goliath matchup against Jose Alverado. This was certainly not the first time punches were thrown with the Miami Heat in town.