In this photo from the infamous Pacers vs. Pistons brawl, Ron Artest, left, and other members of the Indiana Pacers scuffle with members of the Detroit Pistons during a melee involving fans at a game against the Detroit Pistons Nov. 19, 2004 (Allen Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was suspended two games for throwing a ball at a referee on Sunday. Despite this poor showing, Rondo is far from the only basketball player to lose his temper. In fact, this list of pro basketball players behaving badly makes Rondo look almost angelic.
Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has had his ups and downs over the past two seasons. Sunday's loss to the Detroit Pistons was definitely a down.
Rondo made headlines Monday, not for his play, but for his childish behaviour. After the referees failed to call what Rondo believed to be a foul on him, he threw the ball at official Sean Wright. He received a double technical foul and was ejected from the game. Rondo began serving his two-game suspension on Monday.
Rondo is far from the only basketball player to lose his temper. In fact, this list of pro basketball players behaving badly makes Rondo look almost angelic.
Every basketball fan out there can recall Ron Artest's role in the infamous brawl at an Indiana Pacers vs. Detroit Pistons game in 2004. Artest was suspended for the remainder of the season, excluding playoffs (73 games). It was the longest suspension ever dished out for a single-game incident.
Of course Ron Artest has since harnessed his inner chi, calmed his mind and changed his name to Metta World Peace. So we can assume there will be no more fighting in World Peace's future.
In 1977, Los Angeles Lakers' Kermit Washington punched Houston Rockets player Rudy Tomjanovich in the face causing him to fall to the ground and lay helplessly in a pool of his own blood. Tomjanovich would need facial reconstruction surgery, and Washington would be suspended for 26 games and fined $10,000 US. The incident was so horrific, there was even a Forest Whitaker-narrated documentary film made about Washington's fall from grace.
The second-longest suspension ever doled out in the NBA was given to Latrell Sprewell in 1997. Sprewell, who played for the Golden State Warriors, attacked and threatened his head coach P.J. Carlesimo at a team practice. Sprewell had grown tired of Carleismo's corrections and punishments and flew off the handle, choking and threatening to kill his coach before the two were broken up by Sprewell's teammates.
The Warriors terminated Sprewell's contract, but Sprewell appealed the decision and his suspension was reduced to 68 games.
In 2007, Gilbert Arenas was banned for 50 games for bringing a firearm into an arena - and allegedly pulling it on teammate Javaris Crittenton when they got into a locker-room argument over gambling debt. This incident didn't involve losing his cool or his temper so much as it did losing his intelligence in general.
In 2006, Carmelo Anthony was suspended 15 games for his part in the well-known New York Knicks vs. Denver Nuggets brawl. The brawl erupted under the basket after a flagrant foul by Knicks guard Mardy Collins and involved multiple players from each team. All 10 players on the court at the time of the fight were ejected from the game, and several served suspensions.
This suspension is one of the most notable in recent NBA history due to the fact that Anthony was the league's leading scorer at the time.
In 1996, Los Angeles Lakers' guard Nick Van Exel was suspended seven games and landed himself in "deep fertilizer" for this loss of control. Van Exel shoved a referee into the scorer's table when he disagreed with a call.
This list wouldn't be complete without an entry from the most famous loose cannon of them all: Dennis Rodman. Most of his behaviour was just odd, not offensive. But in 1995, Rodman crossed into the realm of unacceptable when he head-butted a ref after being ejected the first time.
Rodman was suspended six games for the incident. It wasn't the first time Rodman would be penalized for behaving badly, and it wouldn't be the last.
Kacie HollinsKacie is a journalism school graduate from Calgary who caught the sports bug, moved to Toronto, and wound up at CBC. Though basketball is her game, she's covered just about everything involving a stick, sword, ball or bat.
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