You will always hear old timers like (like me) talk about how rough and tough the NBA was in the 80s and how soft players (not even mentioning Chris Bosh or Gasol) are nowadays. There was a time when you could get into a fight and sometimes not even get kicked out of the game. No suspensions just maybe a fine. There was a time when the "no blood no foul" rule applied to the NBA players and not just your neighborhood court. If you want proof of how much you could get away with in the 80s check out this video of Larry Bird taking out Bernard King (above) or the videos below of an almost decapitation of Bird. If a player would try that nowadays on a franchise player we would have a brawl and David Stern would be giving out suspensions that lasted months.
Then of course we have the infamous Dr J fight that did not lead to long suspensions