Luckily, a ref managed to step... in the way.
It's actually a story that has been recounted by Jerry Sloan in recent years, but this week Chris Webber offered his recollection of an encounter he had with the Utah Jazz head coach during the 1999 NBA Playoffs. It was in the opening moments of Game 2 that Sloan and Webber almost went head to head. Webber remembered it this way on the Petros and Money Radio Show when asked how angry Sloan can get on the sidelines:
"Man, one time I set a pick on (John) Stockton and I knocked Stockton to the ground and I gave him a shoulder. And I'm really cool with Stockton but I was trying to show the rest of the team like I'm going to get the technical, you guys. I'll be the bad guy, come on. Well, Stockton kind of laughed. I laughed. I looked at the bench and Sloan looked at me.
I said, 'You want some?' He was like, 'Damn right I want some.'
He started walking toward me. So, you know, it's a good thing there was a ref there because, hey, he's one of the toughest guys in the league. I don't want to fight that guy. So, I'll tell you, when your team is led by one of the toughest guys in the league, your team is going to be tough."
Sloan recalled the incident most recently a year ago when asked about Webber's career. The question was prompted by the Kings' plans to retire Webber's jersey on a night the Jazz were in Sacramento.
The story as told to the Deseret News.
"I thought that was one of the toughest, hardest hits I've ever seen a guy (get) hit and then get up. I mean, he knocked him (down)," Sloan recalled. "John will probably tell ya he didn't think he could get up. He got up and it showed what toughness he had."
"There's no question John Stockon's toughness compared to Webber's, because if you're going to hit somebody you go get the biggest guy out there and level him," Sloan said. "Don't go after the smallest guy and knock him down. That doesn't show any toughness. He could have hurt John Stockton real easy."
The Jazz would lose that game but win the series in 5 (in a best of five.)