Famous NBA Ejections
Recently, the NBA world was in shock when the officials took over a game by ejecting the reigning MVP, Nikola Jokic in a closeout game four. The scuffle started when Jokic committed what was deemed by many a frustration foul by trying to slap the ball out of Cameron Payne‘s hands after Jokic felt he had been fouled. An altercation ensued when Devin Booker confronted Jokic about the sequence and both teams were caught trying to break the two apart before a bigger fight could break out.
While it was understandable that it would result in at least a flagrant one foul, no one expected a flagrant two to be called which resulted in the league MVP’s ejection from a do or die game. This was only the most recent controversial ejection in the NBA as the league has seen some famous ejections over the years. Here are the top five famous NBA ejections in league history.
Famous Ejection Throughout NBA History
#5: Greg Popovich
Popovich is known to have a short fuse. However, we are mostly used to him unleashing on his own team when the Spurs are not executing the game plan. When they were playing a rebuilding Denver Nuggets team a few years back, he made his thoughts known with the officials with his team down by one with a minute and 36 seconds to go in the second quarter. This is the infamous ejection that saw then Nuggets point guard, Emmanuel Mudiay, laugh as he jokingly “threw him out,” as he walked past Pop as he was standing up for his respective squad.
#4: Steve Kerr
Steve Kerr has been compared to Greg Popovich a lot. Well, Kerr certainly showed his fiery side in a game against the Sacramento Kings on February 4th, 2017. During the three-minute and 34-second mark of the third quarter, Kerr blew his top and even yelled a few expletives at the officials. As usual, the coach disagreed with an egregious call and decided to stick up for his team, especially his star players.
#3: The Big Fundamental
Who can forget the time when former NBA official, Joey Crawford, ejected Tim Duncan for laughing on the bench? Yes, Tim Duncan, of all people. What made this call even more egregious was that Duncan was not even in the game at the time. In a rivalry showdown with the Dallas Mavericks, Crawford had enough of Duncan laughing on the bench at the one-minute and four-second mark of the third quarter. With good reason, Crawford drew heat from all over for this bogus call. He was even suspended for the rest of the season and playoffs for throwing Duncan out of the game.
#2: Ron Artest
Ron Artest, or Metta World Peace, has seen his fair share of controversy during his time in the league. One of the most famous incidents included elbowing James Harden in the head in an ABC NBA Sunday Showcase back when Harden was still with the Thunder. Artest was hyped after a play that had snatched momentum back for the Los Angeles Lakers and walked up the court hyping himself and the team up. The problem? It certainly looks like Artest winded up on purpose as Harden was walking past him. As expected, the Thunder stood up for their teammate and Serge Ibaka went and confronted Artest about the hit. Artest would get suspended for seven games after this incident. However, this was not the most egregious incident of his career. This brings us to our most famous ejection or ejections in NBA history.
#1: The Malice at the Palace
This one is a bit different since it is multiple ejections. However, you cannot have an article talking about famous ejections in NBA history without mentioning the Malice at the Palace. It all started when Ben Wallace took a hard foul from Ron Artest. Wallace pushed Artest in protest and all hell broke loose. Fans were involved, players were involved, and it was one of the ugliest nights in NBA history. I could go on, but the video here explains it all.
The consequences for all involved were severe. It was so bad that the police were involved afterward to determine charges. Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, Ben Wallace, Anthony Johnson, Reggie Miller, Chauncey Billups, Derrick Coleman, and Elden Campbell all received suspensions. Artest received the worst as he was suspended for the rest of the season. A punishment which resulted in him losing $4,995,000 in salary. Out of all the famous ejections in NBA history, it is no surprise this event takes the top spot on this list.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images