What Happens If You Get Ejected From The NBA?

We are all familiar with the frustration we feel when our favourite player gets handed a foul and has to leave the game, so have you ever wondered what exactly happens after you get ejected from the NBA?

In the NBA, after a player coach is ejected off the court, they must leave the court immediately for the rest of the game. An ejection will result in a minimum fine of at least $1000, while an ejection for leaving the bench during a fight carries at least one game suspension as well. Let’s take a look at the types and severity of fouls and ejections.

What exactly is an ejection in NBA?

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Literally speaking, in sports an ejection, which is also known as: dismissal, sending off or disqualification is removal of a participant from a contest due to a violation of that particular sport’s rules.

Who can be ejected and by whom?

Ejections are not limited to only players, but can also be handed to coaches, managers and other staff. However, most instances of an ejection are due to players, and they may include: breaking rules, abusing other players or official, unsportsmanlike behaviour and using illegal drugs that interfere with the players performance on court.

The decision to eject a participant usually lies with one or more officials that are present at the contest for example referees or umpires

The causes for an ejection, fouls:

A foul is something that a player does that goes against the sports rules. It is normally committed whenever a player makes contact with another as to put him for her at a disadvantage, for example touching or blocking them in a way that is not allowed.

In the 2001 to 2002 season, the NBA changed their rules- deeming brief contact allowable if initiated by a defensive player, considering it did not hamper the progress of the offensive player. A foul may be on purpose or accident.

Types of fouls:

The different types of fouls are:

  • Technical fouls:

In basketball, a technical foul is any violation of the rules that does not involve physical contact during play with an opponent on the court or is a foul by a non player. It can also include violations by team members on the floor or seated on the bench. A technical foul can occur on or off court. The most common technical foul is unsportsmanlike behavior

  • Personal foul:

In basketball a personal foul is the infringement of the rules that relates to forbidden correspondence with another opposing player. It constitutes as one of the most common types of fouls committed, considering it involves hampering the performance of another (mostly an offensive player) by a defensive player.

  • Flagrant foul:

In basketball, a flagrant foul is a personal foul that could potentially harm or injure the fouled player. Flagrant fouls can also be defined as: Type 1 Flagrant: unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent or Type 2 Flagrant: unnecessary excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent. It may be accidental or on purpose.

The NBA website says:

Both flagrant fouls carry a penalty of two free throws and the team that was fouled retains possession. An FF2 also results in the ejection of the player committing the foul (a player who commits two FF1’s in the same game is also ejected).

The severity of fouls and requirements for ejection:

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The severity of the fouls is directly related to the requirements for ejection i.e how many of these fouls a player needs to accumulate to be ejected. The least severe is personal foul and a player can receive up to four of these before they are in danger of being ejected.

Second in terms of severity are technical and Type 1 flagrant fouls, two of which, over the course of a game, may get a player or a coach ejected from the game.

The thing to be noted about a flagrant foul is that when a call is made, referees need to look into some matters before declaring the foul and carrying out penalties: 1) whether the player(s) has (have) displayed any unsportsmanlike conduct immediately before/after the foul and 2) whether the foul can be categorized as a Type 1 flagrant (or stay as a common foul/changed to a technical foul) or a Type 2 flagrant.

In the case of the latter, the penalty is immediate ejection from the game, which brings us to the most severe foul type: Type 2 Flagrant.

Stages in fines for technical fouls:

Technicals during the playoffs also follow a progressive system during the playoffs, which applies to both players and coaches. First and second technical fouls receive a $1,000 fine each, three and four are $1,500, five and six increase to a $2,000 fine each (with a warning letter sent when the violator reaches his 5th technical foul) while a seventh tech would result in a $2,500 fine plus one-game suspension. Each additional technical foul beyond that includes a $2,500 fine. Once a player or coach accumulates technicals in intervals of two from seven on up, each $2,500 fine also comes with a one-game suspension. – source: www.si.com

What happens after ejection from NBA?

When a player/otherwise faces ejection, they must immediately leave the court, which mostly just means going to the locker room or other part of the court i.e out of sight of the playing area.

In extraordinary cases, relocation may be extended to external locations (beyond the facility grounds).

If a participant refuses to cooperate with the ejection, additional sanctions and penalties may be doled out e.g monetary fines, suspensions or forfeiture from the contest/game. Very rarely, law enforcement authorities may also get involved and have to dole out sanctions.

Effects of ejection of players and team

A fine of minimum 1000 to 2000 dollars may also be incurred. Moreover, in domestic games, refusal to leave the court after ejection puts the player in question on report and if that does not convince a player to leave the court, then the official can award the game to the opposing team.

Players who incur 16 technical fouls in a single season are suspended for one game, an additional suspension is added for increment of two, thereafter.

If a player receives the 16th technical foul in the last game go the season, he is suspended for the first game or the next season (except if he is playing in the playoffs, where seven technical fouls are the requirement for suspension).

The most ejected players in the NBA:

  • Shaquille O’Neal:

Regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Shaq has 10 ejections to his name- with the the “Hack-a-Shaq” strategy (players scoring intentional fouls against him because of his poor free shot ability) allowing many of the opposing players to take advantage of him of court.

  • Paul Pierce:

Playing 19 seasons in the NBA,  mainly with the Boston Celtics and winning a championship, “The Truth” was unrivalled, both in performance and ejections, with 10 to his name. A memorable one was when he ripped off his jersey and threw it over his head, as he went- refusing to go off court quietly.

  • Gary Payton:

Known as “The Glove”, for his defensive skills, he is the only guard to have won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. With his propensity for “trash talk”, Payton also stands high in the ejection list, with 11 to his name and having the fourth most technical fouls of all time.

  • Stephen Jackson:

Known for being one of the players at the forefront in “the most infamous brawl in NBA history”, which saw a number of ejections and suspensions- Jackson matches his notoriety with 11 ejections to his name.

  • Ron Artest:

Now legally known as Metta Sandiford-Artest, Artest has been part of many controversial on court incidents and is recognized for his outspoken and eccentric behaviour. One of the most famous scandals of his is the Malice at the Palace, which earned him a season long suspension. He has 11 ejections to his name.

  • Matt Barnes:

Barnes is known as one of the toughies of the league, for his hard nosed approach- often coming off the bench. Memorably, he got into an altercation with Derek Fisher over a personal dispute, resulting in suspension without pay. He has twelve ejections to his name and 32 flagrant fouls.

  • Kenyon Martin:

Averaging 11.5 points and two rebounds, Martin was as fiery as he was good, often arguing with the referees. His attitude made him get 12 ejections throughout his career.

  • Reggie Miller:

Miller is recognized as one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, nicknamed “Knick Killer” for his three point shooting against the New York Knicks. So was his power that he managed to have a rivalry with the legend, Michael Jordan. Notorious for trash talking, Reggie accumulated 12 ejections in his career (one in 1993, during an altercation on court with Jordan himself).

  • DeMarcus Cousins:

Cousins is close to being number one on this list, chalking up 136 technical fouls in his still running career, he is famous for getting ejected. He has been ejected from a game he didn’t play in! Managing to get ejected just 3 minutes into a recent game with the Rockets, DeMarcus has 14 ejections to his name.

  • Rasheed Wallace:

Wallace is known for his passion and distinctive nature, often ending up in confrontations with opponents and officials, many of which resulted in fouls and ejections. One of his most famous moments may be his “Ball don’t lie” moment which he shouted after fouled (by him) player missing a free shot- resulting in his ejection from the game. He is the undisputed leader of this list, with…..29 ejections!

Weirdest and funniest ejections in the NBA

Mostly, ejections are called for, on part of the officials and are the result of and in, heated emotions.

Sometimes, however, ejections are straight up unnecessary (making you want to pull your hair out) and looking back, may be the cause of laughter on our part.

Let’s look into some of the strangest and funniest ejections from the NBA:

i) That one time when Reggie Evans and Grant Hill got into a butt-patting battle and the referee, fearing further escalation (leading to God knows where or what), tossed them out of the game.

ii) Shaquille O’Neal, dunked a little too hard and ended up accidentally hitting Andrei Kirilenko on the head- resulting in him being tossed.

iii) When Rasheed Wallace ended up getting ejected for refusing to stop staring at Ron Garretson. Pretty undeserved, you could say, but Wallace did just earn a foul and a technical foot barking at Garretson from the sidelines, so there you have it!

iv) In 2007, Joey Crawford fouled Tim Duncan for saying something to him, however after Tim’s taking the foul a little to happily (he started laughing!), Crawford called a second foul on him and ran him out of the game

v) The time when Hedo Turkoglu (playing for Orlando Magic) was ejected for….talking???? On the bench??? Does this make sense to you, because it certainly does not to us.

vi) When Kevin Garnett, kept asking the referee: Are you serious? after being ejected from the game (playing Boston Celtics) on a technical foul.

vii) One of the most infamous and hilarious ejections is Aaron Brooks (Phoenix Suns) being ejected from the game, for er…grabbing his lower area and then giggling as he walked off to the cheers.

Final thoughts:

Ejections in the NBA are quite commonplace, some just earning the players a single game, while some getting murky and falling into legalities and monetary repercussions.

However, in a league where one game can make or break team performance in the overall season, one thing is for sure: they’ll never be appreciated in real time- however, down the lane and over the years, they have given the fans many unforgettable instances to laugh about.