Receiving a suspension in the NBA these days is not a hard task, especially since every action both on and off the court a player makes is under more supervision than in recent years. However, receiving a suspension that can last for an entire season or even longer than that is something that is not so common in the league. This is a type of incident that is on a much larger scale worse than the ones we see almost every week in the NBA.
We’re going to dig into some of the longest suspensions recorded in NBA history and break down what happened during these events. For some of them, you already heard about but there are also a couple of them which flew under the radar a bit or happened several decades ago.
Ron Artest is first on this list because of an even that happened Onn November 19, 2004, when he entered the stands and grabbed a fan after a drink was thrown at him. This happened during the game against the Detroit Pistons, causing a large brawl between players and fans. However, this wasn’t the end because after Artest left the stands, he punched another fan that came onto the court to confront him. NBA was shocked with the incident and Artest served an 86 game suspension (73 regular-season games and 13 playoff games).
This incident is quite recent and it happened on June 6, 2019 when Stevens who is a minority owner of the Warriors pushed Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the NBA finals. The NBA promplty reacted and gave Stevens a suspension for one year from all NBA games and was fined half a million dollars for the incident. Unfortunately for Stevens he won’t be able to attend any game in the upcoming season.
On December 1, 1997, Sprewell pretty much lost his cool and started to choke, threaten, and even punched Warriors head coach P.J Carlesimo during team practice. The reason why Sprewell reacted with an assault was Carlesimo’s cricism of his passing. NBA immediately fined Sprewell who served a 68 game suspension.
Gilber Arenas was a true gunner on the court capable of dropping 30 points on every single team but on January 27, 2010, Arenas received a suspension for storing an unloaded firearm in his locker and drawing it on teammate Javaris Crittenton. The main reason behind this incident is the argument Arenas and Crittenton were having was regarding gambling debts from December 2009. This event raised a lot of eyebrows around the league at that time and Arenas served a 50 game suspension.
Javaris Crittenton participated in the same event and he was also suspended for the same incident. It seems not only Arenas stored an unloaded firearm in his locker but Crittenton did the same thing and drew it on Gilbert Arenas during their argument regarding gambling debts. Fortunately for Crittenton he only had to serve a 38 game suspension.
On November 19, 2004, Jackson was also one of the main participants at the incident that happened during a game between the Pacers and Pistons. Jackson entered the stands and punched a fan after a drink was thrown at teammate Ron Artest. Fortunately for Jackson he only served a 30 game suspension.
Kermit Washington is a relatively unknown player in NBA history but he definitely made the headlines on December 9, 1977, after he punched Houston Rockets player Rudy Tomjanovich in the face during a fight in an NBA game. Tomjanovich would have serious injuries from this incident and missed the rest of the season, but would later made a full recovery. Washington on the other hand received a big suspension from the NBA at that time and had to sit out in 26 games that season.