In the modern era of the NBA, there is a constant debate around whether the league has gone 'too soft', with referees giving fouls at the slightest hint of contact, especially in the paint. The discussion has been extended to flagrant fouls, as a good chunk of the NBA's fans believe players should be allowed to have skirmishes during the game, a la the 80s and 90s.
With incidents involving flagrant fouls going down every campaign, it throws up the question - how many flagrant fouls lead to a suspension in the NBA?
After the accumulation of how many flagrant fouls does an NBA player get suspended?
The NBA follows a 'penalty points' system to determine suspensions. A Flagrant 1 foul results in one penalty point, while a Flagrant 2 results in two penalty points. If a player accumulates more than five penalty points during the course of the regular season, they get suspended.
A Flagrant 2 foul is when a player resorts to extreme violent conduct or action which might result in the other players getting injured. As per the NBA rulebook, it is "unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent." Flagrant 2 foul results in the opposition team getting two free throws and the guilty player getting ejected from the game.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker was recently given a Flagrant 2 foul for pushing LA Lakers guard Dennis Schroder. Booker was immediately ejected as the Suns went on to lose Game 3 of the first round of the playoff series between the two teams.
On the other hand, a Flagrant 1 is a comparatively lighter offense. It is defined as "unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent". A Flagrant 1 results in the opposition team getting shots from the charity stripe, while the player is let off with a warning. If a player commits 2 Flagrant fouls in one game, he is automatically ejected.
The playoffs follow a different rule. In the postseason, if a player exceeds the mark of 3 points, he is hit with an automatic suspension. Each additional foul then leads to the severity of the punishment.
One of the more popular examples of a player getting suspended in the playoffs due to accumulating flagrant foul points is that of Draymond Green. The former DPOY winner was famously suspended for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals as he was adjudged to have committed a Flagrant 1 foul against LeBron James.
The suspension turned out to be the turning point in the series, as James and Kyrie Irving led them to a win in Game 5. The Cavaliers rode the momentum to defeat the Golden State Warriors in the finals, overcoming a 3-1 deficit.