Most Ejections: The 15 NBA Players That Have Been “Tossed Out” of a Game The Most

NBA players can get ejected from a game for a variety of reasons, ranging from physical altercations to verbal outbursts directed towards officials or other players. Getting “thrown out” or “tossed” typically comes after a player has been assessed two technical fouls or a flagrant foul, which is a foul that involves excessive physical contact or intent to injure.

One of the fastest ways to get ejected from a game is to have a physical altercation with another player or in rare cases, with a fan. Players that throw punches, shove or elbow each other, or engage in other forms of physical contact that are deemed inappropriate by officials. In addition to player-on-player altercations, players can also be ejected (and suspended) for making contact with officials or other staff members, which is considered a serious violation of league rules.

Verbal altercations with referees or excessive trash talking with other players can also result in ejections. Players may argue with officials over foul calls or other decisions, and their language or behavior may escalate to the point where they are ejected from the game.

The 15 NBA Players with Most Ejections

Basically if you fight or run your mouth too much, you’ll get ejected. The NBA is a intense competition between elite athletes so it’s no surprise that players direct their frustrations towards opponents, coaches, fans or referees that can lead to being thrown out.

If you consider yourself a fan of he NBA, you won’t be surprised to see any of the names on the following list. In fact,  we’d wager at that even casual NBA fans could come easily come up with 5-7 players on this list. Here’s a list of a dozen or so players that won’t stop talking or arguing even after the first technical foul. When their mouth gets going the threat of a second technical won’t shut them up.

Kevin Garnett (11 ejections)

We start out with one of the most-viscerally intense players to ever play the game. Kevin Garnett was a 15-time All-Star, one of the best power forwards in NBA history and what came with that was a reputation for being a competitive, confrontational and emotional player known to persistently run his mouth. That ultimately led to an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics. Whether it was headbutting another player or arguing with officials, Garnett has been thrown out of a game 11 times in his long NBA career.

Gary Payton (11)

Payton was a nine-time All-Star and one of the best point guards of his generation. Payton never backed down and was known to always run his mouth that often led to confrontations with officials and opponents alike.

Kenyon Martin (12)

With a mix of physical altercations and violent dunks, Martin had a reputation for being a fiery player, someone you didn’t want to mess with and who sometimes crossed the line. As far as ejections are concerned, that happened at least 12 times in his NBA career.

Dennis Rodman (12)

Known for his colorful personality and his special ability to aggravate opponents and fanbases. Rodman was also frequently ejected from games for accumulating technical fouls, getting into altercations with players, officials and sometimes cameramen, it’s no surprise that Rodman is 5th all time in technical fouls.

To be honest, we’re a little surprised that Rodman hasn’t been thrown out more than 12 times. We’ll have to look into this a little deeper.

Matt Barnes (13)

Barnes was a physical and aggressive player who often got into altercations with other players and officials during his journeyman career with the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, and Los Angeles Lakers.

Shaquille O’Neal (14)

One of the most dominant centers in NBA history, O’Neal was also known for his physicality and sometimes got into altercations with other players and officials. Shaq would likely contend that his confrontations and ejections originated from the fouls, beatings and so-called muggings he took in the paint.

DeMarcus Cousins (14)

The player with the least amount of NBA games, Cousins’ reputation precedes him. When the four-time All-Star feels disrespected, he can get extremely volatile, angry and emotional. Out of the 654 games he’s played in his career, he’s been ejected from eleven of them.

Charles Barkley (16)

A Hall of Famer and one of the most dominant players of his era, Barkley was also known for his fiery personality and frequent clashes with players and officials alike. Even twenty years after he retired Barkley is still saying what he wants, when he wants, as a broadcaster and NBA analyst for TNT.

Anthony Mason (16)

Playing with the rough-and-tumble New York Knicks of the 1990’s, Mason was a tough and physical enforcer known for his aggressive style of play, broad shoulders, and being a one-time All-Star during his career.

Dwight Howard (17)

Despite what seems like a persistent smile, Howard’s alter ego is one of constant complaining that makes him one of the NBA’s most-hated players. Howard has been ejected from several games – 17 to be exact — over the course of his career for a mix of arguing with other players and officials.

Draymond Green (20)

No surprise here, Draymond is the heart and the defensive soul of the Golden State Warriors and he wears all of that on his sleeve. As much good as Green brings to the court, it comes with a lot of shouting, outbursts, arguing, and physical altercations — leading to at least 19 ejections; the second-most in NBA history.

Rasheed Wallace (29)

If you’ve paid attention to the NBA since the 2000’s, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Wallace was known for running his mouth. While others often had a diverse portfolio of reasons why they were thrown out of the game; ‘Sheed’s ejections often came because he just wouldn’t stop arguing with officials. We don’t have the exact number, but we would estimate that 95% of the time, the four-time All-Star and NBA champion was tossed because he wouldn’t stop yapping at officials.

NBA Players with Most Ejections
# Player Ejections
1 Rasheed Wallace 29
2 Draymond Green 20
3 Dwight Howard 17
4 Anthony Mason 16
4 Charles Barkley 16
6 Shaquille O'Neal 14
6 DeMarcus Cousins 14
8 Matt Barnes 13
9 Kenyon Martin 12
9 Dennis Rodman 12
9 Reggie Miller 12
12 Kevin Garnett 11
12 Gary Payton 11
12 Ron Artest 11
13 Bill Laimbeer 10

Other notable ejection include Kobe Bryant who has been ejected seven times in his career. Kobe is known for being a five-time NBA champion and one of the most dominant scorers in NBA history, but the Black Mamba had a reputation for being combative and confrontational.

Regardless of the reason for the ejection, players must leave the court immediately and are not allowed to return to the game. Ejections can also result in fines and suspensions, depending on the severity of the offense. Ultimately the NBA rules in regards to fouls, technical fouls and penalties are intended to maintain the integrity of the game and ensure player safety, as well as to enforce league rules and regulations.

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