In Sunday night’s matchup between the Brooklyn Nets and the Detroit Pistons, Nets star Kevin Durant continued his streak of high-scoring play—and aggression on the court.
With an average of 28.5 points per game, Durant ranks among the top scorers in the league.
However, he also has a reputation for being hot-headed in competition, and this past week has been no exception.
On Friday, he was fined $25,000 for throwing a ball into the stands in a game against the Indiana Pacers. He received a technical foul from the officials.
Things escalated even further on Sunday when Durant elbowed Pistons center Kelly Olynyk in the head during the third quarter.
That offense earned him a flagrant 2 foul and an ejection from the game.
Kevin Durant was ejected after this foul was ruled a Flagrant 2. pic.twitter.com/d7RdSFwCZk
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 1, 2021
As one of the most serious fouls in the league, a flagrant foul is bound to make headlines. Learn more about what the call means and when it became part of the NBA rulebook.
What is a flagrant foul in basketball?
A flagrant foul is a type of personal foul in basketball that is called when a player makes unnecessary contact with an opponent.
This type of foul is given when the unnecessary contact between two players occurs during the course of play.
Flagrant fouls often involve violent contact or persistent and abusive conduct.
What is the difference between a flagrant 1 and 2?
There are two types of flagrant fouls:
- Flagrant 1: Called for unnecessary contact, whether intentional or unintentional.
- Flagrant 2: Called for unnecessary and excessive contact, typically intentional in nature.
Flagrant 1 and flagrant 2 fouls both count toward the team foul total.
What are the consequences of a flagrant foul?
The penalty for both types of fouls is two free throws and loss of possession.
The NBA also uses a point system to track these fouls, with one point awarded for a flagrant foul 1 and two points awarded for a flagrant foul 2.
If a player accumulates more than five points during the regular season, they receive an automatic suspension for the next game. Two-game suspensions are issued for point totals over seven.
During the NBA playoffs, one-game suspensions are issued for each point accrued past a total of three, and two-game suspensions for point totals over five.
Do you get ejected for a flagrant foul in basketball?
With a flagrant foul 2, the offending player receives an automatic ejection from the game. Players who commit two flagrant 1 fouls in a single game receive an immediate ejection as well.
Examples of flagrant fouls
Hits that come from an elbow, fist, or kick during the course of regular basketball play are often categorized as flagrant fouls, especially when contact occurs from the neck up or in the groin area.
It comes down to the referee’s decision whether a foul is flagrant or not. In addition to the type of contact being made, officials may also note whether a hit was particularly hostile or stemming from an emotional situation.
What is the difference between a flagrant foul and technical foul?
A technical foul is an infraction related to unsportsmanlike behavior or rule violations.
The major difference between technical fouls and flagrant fouls is that technical fouls don’t involve physical contact related to the course of play.
While flagrant fouls can only apply to players who are on the court, technical fouls can involve players on the bench and coaches as well.
Technicals are also far more common fouls compared to flagrant 1 and flagrant 2 fouls.
Some examples of technical fouls include:
- Using profane language in addressing players or referees
- Taunting an opponent
- Hanging on the rim or backboard
- Attempting to dunk a dead ball
- Throwing the ball into the stands
- Kicking the ball intentionally
- Altercations on or off the court
- Delay of game
- Illegal substitution
- Uniform violations
The penalty for a technical foul in the NBA is a free throw and possession of the ball awarded to the opposing team.
The shot clock is also reset to 14 seconds if it was under 14 seconds when the foul occurred.
If a player receives two technical fouls in a game, they receive an immediate ejection.
What is the difference between a flagrant foul and an intentional foul?
An intentional foul is a deliberate personal foul that a defensive player makes in order to take away the offensive player’s advantageous position.
Because an intentional foul results in stopping the clock, it is often used strategically by teams who are trailing in the score and looking for more time to gain the lead.
Flagrant fouls, on the other hand, typically occur in the heat of the moment rather than as part of a strategy to win the game.
History of flagrant fouls in the NBA
The flagrant foul was introduced to the NBA during the 1990-1991 season.
Though these types of fouls had been called previously, this effectively increased the penalties for egregious fouls on the court.
The penalties introduced included two free throws for the opposing player plus possession of the ball.
Additionally, an automatic ejection was issued if the referee determined that the player wasn’t making an attempt to play the live ball.
Beginning in the 2006-2007 season, all flagrant 2 fouls were required to be review on instant replay, with officials permitted to maintain or downgrade the foul after review.
Flagrant fouls in the NCAA
In men’s college basketball, flagrant 1 and flagrant 2 fouls are applied similarly to the way in which they’re used in the NBA.
Women’s college basketball uses different terms, but with similar applications.
Instead of a flagrant 1 foul, the term in women’s NCAA basketball is unsportsmanlike foul; instead of a flagrant 2 foul, disqualifying foul is used.
Flagrant fouls in high school basketball
High school officials only use a single flagrant foul designation as opposed to flagrant 1 and flagrant 2.
If a flagrant foul is issued in high school basketball, the player is ejected from the game.