4. The NBA Player who Faked his Identity
On August 7, 2002, a former Uzbekistan Basketball League player named Arsen Ilyasov came to Turkey. The 18 year old suddenly went missing. His legal documents were nowhere to be found as well.
Strangely enough, about a month later a man went to the Turkish government claiming that he had “forgot to register” his 15 year old son.
Forgot to register basically means to forget to document one’s birth.
He would register his son under the name of Ersan Ilyasova.
One year later the Uzbekistan Basketball Federation sent a protest letter to the French International Basketball Association. The letter claimed that a Uzbekistani named Arsen Ilyasov “Ersan Ilyasova” wasn’t legally a Turkish citizen and should, therefore, be disqualified from the Turkish Junior Championship and the European Championship on the grounds of falsified age.
A newspaper from Uzbekistan even claimed to have paperwork verifying the immigration of Arsen, and the registration of a 15-year old Ersan. Yet, the Turkish government came to the conclusion that they couldn’t conclude that Ilyasov and Ilyasova were the same person or different people, so he was allowed to continue playing in the 15-year-old age group and remain a citizen.
3. Larry Bird Disrespects the Portland Trail Blazers
During the 1985-86 campaign, the Boston Celtics had a dominant team. The team would go on to win 67 games and win the NBA Championship. Bird, a notoriously cocky player, felt so confident in his team’s abilities that he decided to play a Valentine’s Day game against the Portland Trail Blazers mostly using only his off-hand.
Bird would go on to score 22 of his 47 points with his left hand. He also hit the game-winning shot in overtime (although this wasn’t with his left hand).
Later that day when reporters asked Bird why he chose to play with his left hand he stated: “I’m saving my right hand for the Lakers.” The Celtics would go on to beat the Los Angeles Lakers two days later in a game in which Bird would score 22 points and snatch 18 rebounds.
2. Charles Barkley Wasn’t Just Aggressive on the Basketball Court
On October 26, 1997, Barkley was in Orlando for a preseason game against the magic. The evening before the game he visited a local bar with his friend Karen Carrington and his teammate Clyde Drexler. Barkley was very popular at the time, as a result, he started signing autographs for people.
Presumably, for whatever reason he decided to ignore Jorge Lugo’s request for an autograph. This resulted in the 5-foot-2, 110-pound Lugo having a bit of a breakdown. At that moment, Lugo decided to swear at Barkley and hurl a cup of ice in his face.
A few minutes later Lugo came back and threw a glass at Carrington’s face. The glass hit with such force that it knocked her straight out of her chair.
It was at this point Barkley decided to take things into his own hands. He ran outside, grabbed Lugo by the shirt collar and slammed him up against the glass. Lugo hit the glass with such force that the glass burst and he fell through.
At the trial, the judge asked Barkley if he had any regrets, to which Barkley responded: “Yeah I regret we were on the first floor.” Due to the incident, Barkley received a $320 fine and had to visit two children’s programs.
1. Paul Pierce was Stabbed Eleven Times: Yet his Teammate Didn’t Stab him in the Back
In September of 2000, Pierce would go out one night to visit a club located in Boston called the Buzz Club. The night would start off like any normal night in which Pierce was conversing with strangers and hitting on girls, yet unfortunately, things would take a turn for the worse.
A man by the man of William Ragland decided to walk up to Pierce and slam a glass bottle against his head. Pierce then fell to the ground. At this moment Tony Hurston and Trevor Watson started kicking Pierce.
Ragland then decided to pull out a knife and stab Pierce 11 times. One of the cuts went seven inches inside his rib cage and was only one inch away from hitting his heart. These cuts would occur in locations such as the back, neck and face.
After the men cleared away teammate Tony Battie rushed Pierce to the hospital. It was at this moment where Pierce looked his surgeon in the eye and asked him “am I going to live?”
Pierce would suffer from a collapsed lung that would require surgery to fix, however, the surgery was successful and Pierce was allowed to leave the hospital only three days after the incident.
Remarkably Pierce would go on to not miss a single game that whole season. He would have a breakout season in which he would go on to average 25.3 points per game.