The Nine Most Absurd Ejections In Sports History
Larry Sanders' sayonara recalls other memorable ejections
Last night Larry Sanders was ejected after arguing a charging call during the fourth quarter of a game between the Bucks and Wizards. His response? Three cheerful thumbs up signs for the referees.
Here are eight more of the most absurd ejections in sports history, from the unusual and amusing to the bizarre and hyperviolent.
Late in a 2004 game between the Lakers and Jazz — Karl Malone’s first game in Utah as an opposing player — Shaq was tossed for a ferocious dunk on Andrei Kirilenko. (Referee Bob Delaney attested that O’Neal intentionally shoved Kirilenko on his ascent to the rim.)
Zizou had been the talisman of France’s unlikely run to the 2006 World Cup final. But he came undone during extra time against Italy, headbutting Marco Materazzi in the chest during the 110th minute and earning a straight red card. It was his final act as a professional footballer; he retired following the match.
The notoriously irascible Indiana coach became so enraged during a Feb. 23, 1985 game against Purdue that he hurled a chair from the bench across the court.
When the All-Star post man had the gall to laugh at a call that went against the Spurs during a 2007 game, veteran official Joey Crawford ejected him from the game — even though Duncan was seated on the bench.
The Peoria Chiefs and the Dayton Dragons
A bench-clearing brawl during a minor league game between Peoria and Dayton ended with 15 ejections — not to mention a felony assault charge for 20-year-old Dominican pitcher Julio Castillo.
In the top of the ninth inning with two outs in a 1983 game between the Royals and Yankees, George Brett hit a two-run homer to put Kansas City ahead 5-4. But New York manager Billy Martin cited to the umpires a rule that read that any foreign substance on a bat could extend no further than 18 inches from the knob. The umpires measured the amount of pine tar on Brett’s bat, then signaled Brett out, prompting a furious outburst from the future Hall of Famer.
The lockdown defender who’d later be known as Metta World Piece landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated after entering the stands during the famous 2004 fight between the Pistons and Pacers. Artest was suspended 86 games for the meltdown, the longest non-drug related punishment in NBA history.
Phil Wellman delivered a meltdown for the ages as the manager of the Double-A Mississippi Braves during a 2007 game, taking a virtual tour of the diamond in a tantrum that quickly went viral.