Knuckle Sandjanowich

In a December 1977 meeting between the Rockets and Lakers, Houston guard and eventual head coach Rudy Tomjanovich had his face drained from somewhere right around three-point land. When a fight erupted between Lakers’ forward Kermit Washington and a Rockets teammate (believed to be Fozzie Bear), Rudy T sprang into action, fleeing to the scene like white on a fight. However, his pacific intentions would be met with brusque opposition, when Washington mistook his advances and powdered him in the face. Rudy T emerged from the gruesome blow with a broken jaw and nose, a skull fracture, facial lacerations, a concussion, spinal fluid leakage from the brain cavity and two black eyes. His mouth wired shut, Rudy T missed the rest of the season: “The nurses grimaced when they looked at me,” the all-star was quoted as saying. Doctors compared the impact of the punch with that of hitting a windshield at 40 mph.