The personal foul limit in the NBA is six. So once a player commits his sixth foul, then he's off to the end of the bench to don his warmers until the final buzzer. But once upon a time, there was a player named Cal Bowdler who continued playing even after his sixth foul. Hell, he even committed a seventh foul before checking out of the game.
Seven fouls in one game
If you're a fan and see a lousy score like that, it's highly acceptable just to turn the TV off or tune in to another show. However, if you're a scorekeeper, you have no choice but to stay put and do your job until the final buzzer. And this is likely the main reason why Hawks center Cal Bowdler got away with it.
The play-by-play of that game reveals that at the 2:52 mark of the fourth quarter, Bowdler committed his sixth foul on Blazers big man Jermaine O'Neal for the and-one. The Blazers called a timeout but after which, Bowdler walked back to the court with his teammates and the Trail Blazers.
Bowdler's seventh personal foul
Bowdler continued playing and in the 50-second mark, he committed another foul on O'Neal again. This time, he was replaced by backup big man Chris Crawford. The catch is, the scorekeepers and the referees — who were probably bored out of their wits of the blowout game — thought that Bowdler had committed his sixth and was therefore out of the game. They later found out in a review that Bowdler had committed seven fouls — the most in the shot clock era.
It's a record that will never be broken again. However, Bowdler joined two other players who have committed more than six fouls. Before the shot clock era, Don Otten logged in eight in 1949 and Alex Hannum had in 1950.