What Happens When an NBA Player Gets Ejected?

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When tensions run high on the basketball court, emotions can sometimes escalate to a point where an NBA player faces ejection. Such dramatic turn of events not only alters the dynamics of the game but also carries various consequences for both the player and their team, especially the former. What happens when an NBA player gets ejected? What are the reasons for an ejection in the first place? 

This article explains the nuances of an ejection, the consequences a player may face following such circumstances, and more.

What Does Ejected Mean in the NBAWhat Does Ejected Mean in the NBA?

Getting ejected means the individual, whether a coach, team personnel, or player, has to be removed from the game and the playing court. 

If an NBA player is ejected, he must leave the playing area immediately; it doesn’t matter if he is sitting on the bench or out on the floor playing. Typically, the player heads straight to the locker room, where they are often accompanied by team officials or security personnel to ensure a smooth exit. Some security issues could happen, especially if the player is from the visiting team.

What do NBA players do when they get ejected? While they are not permitted to remain in the playing area, the rules allow them to do one of two things: He remains in the locker room until the remainder of the game or pack their bags early and go home. 

More often than not, a coach or other team personnel facing an ejection faces the same procedure.

Why Do NBA Players Get EjectedWhy Do NBA Players Get Ejected?

According to the NBA rule book, a player must be called for a technical foul, unsportsmanlike conduct, or a flagrant foul for him to get ejected. An unsportsmanlike conduct could get the player ejected outright, such as making deliberate and violent-natured contact with the ref. In most cases, a player called for two technical fouls receives an automatic ejection. 

In the case of flagrant fouls, ejection is not outright but is based on severity. Upon review, a flagrant foul penalty two begets an automatic ejection, and so does two Flagrant Foul penalty one calls.

What Actions Can Lead to Basketball EjectionWhat Actions Can Lead to Basketball Ejection?

In the NBA, players, coaches, and even fans can get ejected from a game for several reasons. These are some of the common infractions that could lead to an ejection:

  • Physical altercations. Nobody throws punches in a game, but if you get too physical with the other players, coach, or officials, it’s goodnight time.
  • Flagrant fouls. As mentioned in the previous section, flagrant fouls are one of the most common reasons for an ejection by an NBA player. This type of foul is described as severe and unnecessary and is further divided into two types, Flagrant Foul penalty one and Flagrant Foul Penalty two. Flagrant Foul two merits an automatic ejection, while a player needs to commit two Flagrant Foul 1s to get ejected.
  • Verbal Abuse or Inappropriate Gestures. Fans cross the line more often than you think and always use profane and abusive language at players. Sometimes, they also make inappropriate gestures. LeBron James once got a fan watching a Lakers game at Indiana kicked out for this very reason.
  • Leaving the Bench During an Altercation. When dustups happen, players from each team must not leave their bench, or they will get ejected. This is to prevent the escalation of conflicts and maintain order in the court.

Basketball Ejection Rules in Different LeaguesBasketball Ejection Rules in Different Leagues

An ejection is an ejection, no matter how one looks at it. However, different leagues and levels of competition may differ in the nuances. Take a look at the basketball ejections rules of different basketball leagues.


The NBA is pretty strict about their ejection rules. Two technical fouls, two Flagrant Foul Penalty One calls, or a Flagrant Foul Penalty two is enough to get a player kicked out. Coaches and other team personnel may also get called for technical fouls for saying something nasty to the refs, leading to an ejection. Fans are also fair game if they cross the line, perhaps using profane language to the players or refs.

The league also punishes violators in the form of fines and suspensions. For example, an ejection warrants a minimum fine of $2,000, and anyone leaving the bench during a fight in the court will serve a one-game suspension. Players who accumulate a total of 16 technical fouls incur a one-game suspension, and every subsequent technical foul means a two-game suspension. 

The only exception to this rule is if a technical foul is due to a defensive three-second violation. In that case, the opposing team gets one free throw and ball possession, but that technically isn’t added to anybody’s totals.


FIBA has a different name for an ejection. They call it a disqualifying foul, but for all intents and purposes, it is a more fancy name for an ejection.

The old rule in FIBA for ejections is pretty much the same as in the NBA. Two technical fouls or two unsportsmanlike fouls (flagrant fouls in the NBA), and you’re out. Recently, however, FIBA has enforced a more stringent rule change. A player who committed a combination of a technical foul and an unsportsmanlike foul will now get ejected. 


The NCAA also has a different interpretation of the ejection rules. One example is the technical foul. They have two types of technical fouls outlined below, plus more NCAA ejection rules:

  • A Type A technical foul is called to players who engage in unsportsmanlike conduct without physical contact. These include shouting profanities and other forms of verbal abuse. Two of these fouls warrant an ejection.
  • A Type B technical foul is not unsportsmanlike in nature. It includes such infractions as basket interference, delay of the game, and others. Three Type B technical fouls mean an ejection, but a player may also get ejected for one Type A technical foul and two Type B technicals.
  • A flagrant 2 personal foul warrants an automatic ejection in the first offense. A flagrant 2 may be excessive and unnecessary, but it may also be called on someone extremely profane and abusive.
  • All participants in fights are automatically ejected from the game upon further review.

High School

In high school basketball, two technical fouls also warrant an automatic ejection. An unsportsmanlike foul will also get a high school player kicked out of the game and suspended for the next scheduled game. A player given a technical for arguing with officials will be ejected and suspended for at least one game.

What Happens When an NBA Player Gets EjectedWhat Happens When an NBA Player Gets Ejected?

NBA players who were ejected face fines and suspensions, depending on the severity of the offense. They might be looking at a monetary fine with no suspension if they committed two garden-variety technical fouls. For instance, how can you suspend (or toss out) this friendly exchange between Grant Hill and Reggie Evans?

Of course, multi-game suspensions would be meted out if the altercation approached the Malice at the Palace level. For example, the brawl between the Knicks and the Nuggets in 2006 saw a combined suspension of 47 games without pay, with Carmelo Anthony getting the brunt of the punishment at 15 games. Anthony’s suspension meant he lost $641,000 of salary for that single punch he threw on Mardy Collins.

Can an Ejected Player Play the Next Game After Being EjectedCan an Ejected Player Play the Next Game After Being Ejected?

Yes, he could, depending on the circumstances. The NBA often thoroughly reviews the matter and may choose not to hand out suspensions. 

A more recent example was the ejection of Dillon Brooks in Game 3 of their first-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers. Brooks was ejected in the game but avoided suspension for Game 4. 

In other cases, the league doesn’t let players off the hook as easily. In Game 4 of their first-round series against the Boston Celtics, the Atlanta Hawks’ guard Dejounte Murray was ejected for bumping a referee and sustained a one-game suspension.

5 NBA Players That Have Been Ejected the Most5 NBA Players That Have Been Ejected the Most

Even with a possible hefty fine waiting for them, some NBA players just couldn’t control their impulses. Here are the top 5 NBA players who were ejected the most in league history. 

1. Rasheed Wallace (29 ejections)

The far-and-away leader is no other than Rasheed Wallace. The 16-year NBA veteran had 29 ejections and 317 technical fouls in his career. You might as well be giving money to the league! Most of his ejections came from techs for arguing with officials, which, for some reason, he couldn’t control. Nobody won an argument with a ref, and with all his playing years, Sheed should’ve known that.

2. Draymond Green (17 ejections)

Green also couldn’t keep his mouth shut or his limbs from flailing around. The result? 163 technical fouls and 17 career ejections. He’s not done yet career-wise, so it’s fair to say his ranking on this list has nowhere to go but up.

3. Dwight Howard (17 ejections)

Howard is chilling in Taiwan right now, but as a notable hothead in his NBA playing days, he got ejected 17 times. He had 178 technical fouls to his credit.

4. Anthony Mason (16 ejections)

Mason was an underrated basketball player, but no one mistook him for a cool-headed fellow. Anthony Mason incurred 192 technical fouls that resulted in 16 ejections, including getting one of six players kicked out in an in-game brawl against the Phoenix Suns.

5. Charles Barkley (16 ejections)

Barkley’s no-filter nature got him into trouble one too many times. He had 329 technical fouls, resulting in 16 ejections, including fights with Bill Laimbeer and Shaquille O’Neal.

Wrapping Things Up: What Happens When an NBA Player Gets Ejected?

Basketball is an emotional sport, and it’s not unusual for players to go over the edge with their emotions and actions. Some could hold themselves just in time, but others go overboard. That often results in a technical or unsportsmanlike foul, and the player gets a pink slip.

So, what happens when a player gets ejected? They need to leave the playing area immediately, and they have a choice to remain in the locker room or pack up and go home. Worse, if the violation is hardcore enough, they could get suspended. Whatever the case, a game ejection warrants at least a $2,000 fine, according to the NBA rule book. Thinking about that amount should be enough for any NBA player to think twice about losing himself on the court next time.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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