In his NBA debut, IU’s Kent Benson was punched by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

INDIANAPOLIS — Kent Benson’s NBA debut lasted two mins and 9 seconds. Basketball took up the primary 120 seconds. A two-man brawl that began with an elbow to the tummy and ended with a punch to the face performed out within the ultimate 9.

Fans sat in surprise inside of MECCA Arena on Oct. 18, 1977, as Benson, enjoying his first professional basketball sport with the Milwaukee Bucks, shoved his proper elbow into the decrease abdomen of Los Angeles Lakers middle Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to ward him off.

Abdul-Jabbar did not like that. He bent over in ache. And then Abdul-Jabbar stood up. He lunged towards Benson, pulled again his proper arm and punched Benson sq. within the face.

Abdul-Jabbar was ejected from the sport, went again to his resort room and watched the Los Angeles Dodgers lose to the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the World Series.

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Bucks center Kent Benson needs help walking off the MECCA floor in 1977 after getting punched by the Lakers' Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Benson wanted the assistance of a teacher to stroll off the ground. Hewas sidelined with a gentle concussion, swollen eye, bruises and cuts that required stitches. He watched the Los Angeles Lakers lose to his Bucks 117-112.

The victory was candy, however it did not soothe the ache. Neither did the bandages and ice packs.

The No. 1 select within the 1977 NBA draft, a 6-10 famous person middle at IU and NCAA champion affectionately referred to as the “gentle giant,” had taken a unique kind of hit.

In his NBA debut, the rookie all eyes had been gazing had taken a significant blow — to his ego.

Benson: ‘Why carry that up now?’

Benson isn’t excited about speaking about that evening 45 years in the past. He returned IndyStar’s name for an interview request however to not relive that punch.

“Why would you write an article about that,” Benson mentioned of one thing that came about greater than 4 many years in the past. “Why bring that up now?”

But Benson has mentioned that evening repeatedly prior to, together with the day after the sport.

“I feel funny all over,” Benson informed the Indianapolis Star in 1977 as he neglected the crew’s travel to Denver for a sport in opposition to the Nuggets. “It’s kind of hard to see out of my eye. My jaw is hurting.”

IU's Kent Benson was punched in the face in his NBA debut by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Benson mentioned that he elbowed Abdul-Jabbar after the Lakers’ middle had “jostled him on an earlier play.” Benson mentioned it was no longer a “vicious shot” on his phase.

“I turned away to play defense,” Benson mentioned in 1977, the Star describing him as a “puffy-eyed rookie.” “(Abdul-Jabbar) must’ve lost his composure and I got hit.” 

Video pictures of the combat presentations Abdul-Jabbar arising in the back of Benson who pivots and offers Abdul-Jabbar a proper elbow to his decrease abdomen.

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