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Celtics most-despised opponent: Pistons Bill Laimbeer

It is no contest. In the vote count for the most-despised Celtics opponent of all time, Bill Laimbeer of the Detroit Pistons takes first place, and no runner-ups are even close. Bill's the winner in this race. Laimbeer wouldn't just annoy and antagonize, he would whip opposing players into an absolute frenzy. Bill's takedown of Larry Bird in Game Three of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals earned him a $5,000 fine. Larry was fined $2,000 for retaliating. Bird was known for his controlled anger, but he lost it in this confrontation - apparently for good reason.


In Game Five, the normally-mild mannered Celtics center, Robert Parish, got so angry at Laimbeer that he golfed him three times in plain view of three officials, none of whom acknowledged that they had witnessed the attack. Nonetheless, although no action was taken against Robert immediately, he was suspended for Game Six of the series and fined $7,500 for throwing the punches.



The 1986-87 Pistons team also had Rick Mahorn, Dennis Rodman and Isiah Thomas on its roster, but not one of the trio came close to Bill as an instigator or much-despised opponent. It is truly ironic that no official witnessed the attack by Parish, and it can be surmised that they possibly looked the other way. Laimbeer definitely had a notorious reputation in the League, whereas Robert did not. Game Five was close - the series was tied 2-2, and Boston won by a score of 108-107. Ejecting Parish at the time may have been a deciding factor in the series. But later examination of the evidence assured a one-game suspension for Robert. Larry going berserk and Robert losing his cool tell us all we need to know. Bill Laimbeer was the most-despised Celtics opponent of all time.

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