Cowens thought a player who flopped to the court to draw a charge was the worst kind of cheat. So he once flattened Houston Rockets guard Mike Newlin in a violent but poignant demonstration. Newlin was a master of the flop. Twice in a game in 1976, Newlin drew charges on Cowens this way. So later in the game, an irate Cowens sprinted at Newlin, slamming him blind-side with both forearms and splattering Newlin along the floor.
``Now that's a FU**ING foul!'' Cowens told referee Bill Jones.
Cowens was branded a savage for that stunt, so he followed it up with a lengthy letter to the editor in the Boston Globe. Cowens wrote that ``fraudulent, deceiving and flagrant acts of pretending to be fouled when little or no contact is made is just as unsportsmanlike as knocking a player to the floor. ... This, in plain words, is what I call `cheating.'" Cowens forwarded copies of the letter to the NBA's supervisor of officials and Newlin. Newlin already got the message; he said Cowens' body-block still stung a month later.