'A player shall not hold, push, charge into, impede the progress of an opponent by extended arm, knee or by bending body into a position that is not normal.' Thus states the NBA rule book, but the regulation is far more honored in the breach than the observance, as this imbroglio between Knick Phil Jackson and Laker Mel Counts and the scenes on the following pages indicate. If the refs went by the book, however, the name of the game would be foul shooting, not pro basketball, and nobody would be fighting for tickets
Boston's Dave Cowens and New York's John Gianelli collide as they scramble for a loose ball (far left), which eludes them both, but Wilt Chamberlain makes a lasting impression upon Chicago's Dennis Awtrey.
Los Angeles Guard Gail Goodrich would rather get caught in a switch than fight, but here he is tangling with the Bulls' pugnacious Jerry Sloan and, following a pump fake, getting a boot from Knick Dean Meminger.
Blocking out requires strength and position, which Buffalo's 240-pound Bob Kauffman utilizes on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (left). The same holds for Cowens and Paul Silas, who immobilize Willis Reed, while Chamberlain has recourse to another tactic (tsk, tsk) to contain Golden State's Nate Thurmond (top).
After a shoving match, Celtic Don Nelson and Knick Bill Bradley resort to blows.
WALTER IOOSS JR.