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NBA's Kermit Washington League's Not As Violent Now ... There's More to Lose

2/2/2016 1:35 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

The NBA is a much more peaceful place now than it was back in the '70s ... so says a guy who would know, Kermit Washington

Besides having a 15 year run in the league -- Kermit infamously threw the punch that ended Rudy Tomjanovich's career back in 1977 ... one of the most brutal moments in the history of the NBA. 

So, when we saw Kermit in L.A. Tuesday-- we had to ask how he felt about the recent wave of NBA violence ... including Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes and even the Kobe vs. Samaki Walker fight. 

You gotta hear what Kermit says -- he actually gives props to today's players ... and says there's a good reason why they're on their best behavior -- $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. 

Check out the clip. 

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