List of people banned or suspended by the NBA

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Under Article 21 of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Constitution, the NBA commissioner has the power to hand down disciplinary actions (either suspension or fines less than $60,000) on players for on-court incidents, conduct that does not conform to standards of fair play, conduct that does not comply with federal or state laws, and conduct that is detrimental to the game of basketball or the league.[1] As defined by the 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and the NBA, any party (a player, a team, the NBA or the NBPA) can appeal to an arbitrator if a suspension is longer than 12 games or a fine is more than $50,000. If an appeal is filed, the arbitrator would have the power to either uphold or reject the decisions made by the commissioner.[2] If the incident is serious enough, such as point shaving or substance abuse, players can be permanently banned from playing, although players banned for substance abuse are permitted to be reinstated two years later under the anti-drug agreement between the league and the NBPA.[3]

In the league's early years, a handful of players were banned permanently because of their involvement with point shaving in college, although Connie Hawkins was able to overturn the ban through litigation. Several more were banned permanently for abusing banned substances and they usually never returned, though some such as Micheal Ray Richardson and Chris Andersen were able to return to play after the ban. Among those suspended, Metta World Peace (then Ron Artest) and Latrell Sprewell faced the most serious punishments for on-court altercations; they were suspended 86 and 68 games, respectively. Gilbert Arenas was also suspended for more than half of the regular-season games for bringing firearms into an arena and drawing them during a dispute.

Permanently banned[edit]

Name Team(s) Year(s) Season(s) Reason
Beard, RalphRalph Beard Indianapolis Olympians 1951 1951–52 In 1951, Beard and teammate Alex Groza were banned permanently when it was revealed that they had shaved points while playing in college.[4]
Groza, AlexAlex Groza Indianapolis Olympians 1951 1951–52 In 1951, Groza and teammate Ralph Beard were banned permanently when it was revealed that they had shaved points while playing in college.[4]
Mager, NormNorm Mager Baltimore Bullets 1951 1950–51 In 1951, Mager was banned permanently when it was revealed that he had shaved points while playing in college.[4]
Roth, AlvinAlvin Roth 1951 1950–51 In 1951, Roth, a City College of New York player, was banned permanently for his involvement in the CCNY point shaving scandal.[5]
Spivey, BillBill Spivey 1951 In 1951, Spivey, a University of Kentucky player, was banned permanently for his involvement in the CCNY point shaving scandal.[6]
Warner, EdEd Warner 1951 In 1951, Warner, a City College of New York player, was banned permanently for his involvement in the CCNY point shaving scandal.[7]
White, ShermanSherman White 1951 In 1951, White, a Long Island University player, was banned permanently for his involvement in the CCNY point shaving scandal.[8]
Molinas, JackJack Molinas Fort Wayne Pistons 1954 1953–54 On January 10, 1954, Molinas was banned permanently for betting on his own team while playing in college.[4]
Brown, RogerRoger Brown 1966 Brown was banned permanently for his association with gambler Jack Molinas. He went on to play in the American Basketball Association (ABA).[9]
Drew, JohnJohn Drew Atlanta Hawks
Utah Jazz
1986 In January 1986, Drew was banned permanently for repeatedly violating NBA's substance abuse policy.[10]
Washburn, ChrisChris Washburn Golden State Warriors
Atlanta Hawks
1989 In June 1989, Washburn was banned permanently after three positive drug tests.[11][12]
Tarpley, RoyRoy Tarpley Dallas Mavericks 1991
1995
1991–92
1995–96
In October 1991, Tarpley was banned permanently for repeatedly violating NBA's substance abuse policy. He was reinstated two years later in 1994 but was permanently banned from the league again in December 1995 for using alcohol.[13]
Dumas, RichardRichard Dumas Phoenix Suns
Philadelphia 76ers
1991
1993
1995
1991–92
1993–94
1995–96
In 1991, Dumas was briefly suspended for violating NBA's substance abuse policy. In 1993, he was suspended indefinitely after he tested positive for a banned substance and failing to participate in a drug rehabilitation program.[14] After two years, he was reinstated and was subsequently banned for violating a clause in his contract which prohibited him from consuming alcohol.[15]
Sterling, DonaldDonald Sterling Los Angeles Clippers 2013 2013–14 In September 2013,[16] Sterling was recorded making racist remarks privately to his girlfriend. The remarks stemmed from her posting a picture of herself on Instagram with Magic Johnson. He said, "Don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games. Yeah, it bothers me a lot that you want to promo, broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?", and, "You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want", but "the little I ask you is ... not to bring them to my games".[17] On April 25, 2014, TMZ leaked an audio recording of the conversation.[18] On April 29, 2014, Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life as well as fining him $2.5 million. Silver also began proceeding of forcing Sterling out of the league.[19]
Mayo, O. J.O. J. Mayo Milwaukee Bucks 2016 2016–17 On July 1, 2016, Mayo was banned for violating the NBA's substance abuse policy. He will be eligible for reinstatement in two years.[20]

Permanently banned but later reinstated[edit]

Name Team Year Season Reason
Hawkins, ConnieConnie Hawkins 1966 During his freshman year in college, Hawkins was linked to a point shaving scandal. As a result of this connection, he was informally banned from the NBA in 1961, and formally banned in 1966. Hawkins filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the NBA, claiming that he was unfairly banned from participation when there was no substantial evidence linking him to the scandal. In 1969, the NBA settled the suit with Hawkins, paying him a cash settlement and lifting his ban to play with the Phoenix Suns.[21][22]
Richardson, Micheal RayMicheal Ray Richardson New Jersey Nets 1986 1985–86 In February 1986, Richardson was banned permanently for repeatedly violating the NBA's substance abuse policy. He was reinstated two years later in July 1988.[23]
Lloyd, LewisLewis Lloyd Houston Rockets 1987 1986–87 On January 13, 1987, Lloyd and teammate Mitchell Wiggins were banned permanently after testing positive for cocaine, a banned substance.[24] Lloyd was reinstated on September 8, 1989.[25]
Wiggins, MitchellMitchell Wiggins Houston Rockets 1987 1986–87 On January 13, 1987, Wiggins and teammate Lewis Lloyd were banned permanently after testing positive for cocaine, a banned substance.[24] Wiggins was reinstated on July 28, 1989.[3]
Washington, DuaneDuane Washington New Jersey Nets 1988 1988–89 In October 1988, Washington was banned permanently after testing positive for cocaine, a banned substance.[26] He was later reinstated, and played briefly for the Clippers in the 1992–93 season.[27]
Roberts, StanleyStanley Roberts Philadelphia 76ers 1999 1999–00 On November 25, 1999, Roberts was banned permanently after testing positive for a banned substance.[28] He was reinstated three years later in 2003.[29]
Andersen, ChrisChris Andersen New Orleans Hornets 2006 2005–06 On January 25, 2006, Andersen was banned permanently for violating the NBA's substance abuse policy. He subsequently filed a grievance against the NBA, but an arbitrator denied his request in March 2006.[30] He was reinstated two years later on March 4, 2008.[31]

Suspended[edit]

Only suspensions lasting six games or more are included.

Length Name Team Year Season Reason
86 games
(including playoffs)
(Rest of the 2004-05 season)
Artest, RonRon Artest
(now Metta World Peace)
Indiana Pacers 2004 2004–05 On November 19, 2004, Artest entered the stands and grabbed a fan after a drink was thrown at him during an NBA game against the Detroit Pistons, causing a large brawl between players and fans. After Artest left the stands, he punched another fan that came onto the court to confront him.[32]
68 games
(originally set to be 82 games)
(Rest of the 1997-98 season)
Sprewell, LatrellLatrell Sprewell Golden State Warriors 1997 1997–98 On December 1, 1997, Sprewell choked, threatened, and punched Warriors head coach P. J. Carlesimo during team practice after Carlesimo criticized his passing. He was immediately suspended ten games. However, the Warriors terminated Sprewell's $23.7 million contract two days later and he was subsequently suspended for a year. Upon appeal, his original contract termination was overturned and his 82 game suspension was reduced to 68 games.[33][34]
50 games
(Rest of the 2009-10 season)
Arenas, GilbertGilbert Arenas Washington Wizards 2010 2009–10 On January 27, 2010, Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton violated NBA rules and Washington, D.C. laws by reportedly storing unloaded firearms in their lockers and drawing guns on each other during an argument regarding gambling debts from December 2009. Arenas was already on indefinite suspension since January 6 whilst under investigation for carrying unlicensed firearms.[35][36]
38 games
(Rest of the 2009-10 season)
Crittenton, JavarisJavaris Crittenton Washington Wizards 2010 2009–10 On January 27, 2010, Crittenton and teammate Gilbert Arenas violated NBA rules and Washington, D.C. laws by reportedly storing unloaded firearms in their lockers and drawing guns on each other during an argument regarding gambling debts from December 2009.[35][36]
30 games Jackson, StephenStephen Jackson Indiana Pacers 2004 2004–05 On November 19, 2004, Jackson entered the stands and punched a fan after a drink was thrown over teammate Ron Artest during an NBA game against the Detroit Pistons.[32]
26 games Washington, KermitKermit Washington Los Angeles Lakers 1977 1977–78 On December 9, 1977, Washington punched Houston Rockets player Rudy Tomjanovich in the face during a fight in an NBA game. Tomjanovich was seriously injured and missed the rest of the season.[37][38]
24 games Taylor, JefferyJeffery Taylor Charlotte Hornets 2014 2014–15 On November 29, 2014, Taylor plead guilty to one count of domestic assault and malicious destruction of property.[39]
20 games Hedo Türkoğlu Orlando Magic 2013 2012–13 On February 13, 2013, Türkoğlu tested positive for methenolone, a banned substance.[40]
20 games Calathes, NickNick Calathes Memphis Grizzlies 2014 2013–14 On April 18, 2014, Calathes tested positive for tamoxifen, a banned substance.[41]
15 games
(originally set to be 25 games)
O'Neal, JermaineJermaine O'Neal Indiana Pacers 2004 2004–05 On November 19, 2004, O'Neal punched a fan that came onto the court to confront teammate Ron Artest during an NBA game against the Detroit Pistons. Upon appeal, his original 25 game suspension was reduced to 15 games.[32][42]
15 games Anthony, CarmeloCarmelo Anthony Denver Nuggets 2006 2006–07 On December 16, 2006, Anthony punched New York Knicks player Mardy Collins in the face during a brawl in an NBA game.[43]
11 games Rodman, DennisDennis Rodman Chicago Bulls 1997 1996–97 On January 15, 1997, Rodman kicked a courtside cameraman in the groin after tripping over him during an NBA game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.[44][45][46]
10 games Maxwell, VernonVernon Maxwell Houston Rockets 1995 1995–96 On February 6, 1995, Maxwell entered the stands and punched a fan who he claimed was heckling him during an NBA game against the Portland Trail Blazers.[47]
10 games Smith, J. R.J. R. Smith Denver Nuggets 2006 2006–07 On December 16, 2006, Smith fought with New York Knicks player Nate Robinson during a brawl in an NBA game.[43]
10 games Robinson, NateNate Robinson New York Knicks 2006 2006–07 On December 16, 2006, Robinson fought with Denver Nuggets player J. R. Smith during a brawl in an NBA game.[43]
10 games Hunter, LindseyLindsey Hunter Detroit Pistons 2007 2006–07 On March 7, 2007, Hunter tested positive for phentermine, a banned substance.[48]
10 games Miles, DariusDarius Miles Boston Celtics 2008 2008–09 On September 20, 2008, Miles tested positive for phentermine, a banned substance.[49]
10 games Lewis, RashardRashard Lewis Orlando Magic 2009 2009–10 On August 6, 2009, Lewis tested positive for dehydroepiandrosterone, a banned substance.[50]
10 games West, DelonteDelonte West Boston Celtics 2010 2010–11 On August 20, 2010, West plead guilty to weapon charges from September 2009.[51]
10 games Mayo, O. J.O. J. Mayo Memphis Grizzlies 2011 2010–11 On January 27, 2011, Mayo tested positive for dehydroepiandrosterone, a banned substance.[52]
10 games Larry Sanders Milwaukee Bucks 2015 2014–15 On January 16, 2015, Sanders tested positive for marijuana, a banned substance, for the second time. After Sander's suspension ended, the Bucks bought him out before he played another game.[53]
8 games Webber, ChrisChris Webber Sacramento Kings 2004 2003–04 On February 17, 2004, Webber was suspended five games for violating the NBA's drug policy and suspended three games for pleading guilty to lying to a grand jury about making an illegal loan when he was a college basketball player for University of Michigan. He served both suspensions together.[54]
7 games Van Exel, NickNick Van Exel Los Angeles Lakers 1996 1995–96 On April 10, 1996, Van Exel shoved referee Ron Garretson onto the scorer's table after Garretson ejected him for arguing a call during an NBA game against the Denver Nuggets.[55]
7 games Wallace, RasheedRasheed Wallace Portland Trail Blazers 2003 2002–03 On January 15, 2003, Wallace confronted and threatened referee Tim Donaghy in the parking lot outside of the Rose Garden after Donaghy had given him a technical foul earlier during an NBA game against the Memphis Grizzlies.[56]
7 games Artest, RonRon Artest
(now Metta World Peace)
Sacramento Kings 2007 2007–08 On July 15, 2007, Artest plead no contest to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge against his wife in May.[57]
7 games Jackson, StephenStephen Jackson Golden State Warriors 2007 2007–08 On July 15, 2007, Jackson plead guilty to a felony for firing a gun outside of an Indiana strip club during a fight the year before.[57]
7 games Smith, J. R.J. R. Smith Denver Nuggets 2009 2009–10 On August 28, 2009, Smith plead guilty to a reckless driving charge for a 2007 auto accident that resulted in the death of a passenger. He was already suspended two games right after the accident.[58]
7 games World Peace, MettaMetta World Peace
(formerly Ron Artest)
Los Angeles Lakers 2012 2011–12 On April 24, 2012, World Peace elbowed Oklahoma City Thunder player James Harden in the head during an NBA game.[59]
6 games Rodman, DennisDennis Rodman Chicago Bulls 1996 1995–96 On March 18, 1996, Rodman headbutted referee Ted Bernhardt after being ejected during an NBA game against the New Jersey Nets.[46][60]
6 games
(originally set to be 10 games)
Taylor, MauriceMaurice Taylor Houston Rockets 2003 2003–04 On November 8, 2003, Taylor violated the NBA's substance abuse policy. Upon appeal, his original 10 game suspension was reduced to six games.[61][62]
6 games Wallace, BenBen Wallace Detroit Pistons 2004 2004–05 On November 19, 2004, Wallace shoved Indiana Pacers player Ron Artest after a hard foul during an NBA game, leading to a large brawl between players and fans.[32]
6 games Mbenga, D. J.D. J. Mbenga Dallas Mavericks 2006 2005–06 On June 2, 2006, Mbenga entered the stands to aid the wife of head coach Avery Johnson, who was in a confrontation with two fans.[63]
6 games Collins, MardyMardy Collins New York Knicks 2006 2006–07 On December 16, 2006, Collins flagrantly fouled Denver Nuggets player J. R. Smith and tried to attack Nuggets player Carmelo Anthony during a brawl in an NBA game.[43]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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