Hackapalooza (hak'-uh-puh-loo'-zuh) noun. Any basketball game marked by excessively physical play that leads to a large number of fouls, an unusually low score, and an almost complete lack of watchability.

Usage example: Did you see that Spurs-Pistons game the other night? It was a total Hackapalooza.

Word Trivia: The late 1990s was truly the Golden Age of Hackapalooza, when hand-checking was elevated to an art form and "mugging" your opponent took on a very literal meaning. This fact was best exemplified by the
Knicks-Heat Rivalry of that era. Getting through those games was like watching a pack of wild dogs just chew on each other for two or three hours. Employing a down-tempo, half-court thug-fest accentuated by countless technical and flagrant fouls, those games often featured scores in the 60s and 70s. In fact, in their 24 playoff meetings from 1997 to 2000, only the Heat ever scored as many as a hundred points (101 to be exact), and it only happened once...at the tail-end of a 7th game blowout. Sure, their offenses were bad to begin with, but, as Kevin McHale once observed, "It's hard [to score] when you've got an elbow in your back and a knee up your ass."

Hackapalooza
A typical scene from the old Knicks-Heat rivalry.

The absolute peak of this rivalry occurred during Game 4 of their 1998 First Round Series, when an all-out brawl erupted after former teammates Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning started swinging at each other. The lasting image of that fight is a pitiful Jeff Van Ghouly holding onto Mourning's leg for dear life, combover flapping wildly around, getting dragged across the floor like a rabid Chihuahua. Said Van Gundy afterwards, "Well, to tell you the truth, I am embarrassed for both organizations and the NBA." Well said, Jeff. But honestly, you should have been more embarrassed about the Hackapaloozas you presided over for five years.

Van Gundy leg
Van Gundy was embarrassed. But, all things
considered, he probably wasn't embarrassed enough.
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