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What Ruins the NBA: Technical Fouls

831 views April 7, 2023
by TJ

The NBA uses technical fouls to ensure every game has law and order. But what if referees use it for personal reasons?

The simple answer is: the game is ruined.

With refs quick to blow their whistles and slap players and coaches with a T, the quality of the matches deteriorates. Fans will lose interest in the games because of the calls, and it affects online sportsbooks as well.

However, it is important to know that referees are humans too. They are allowed to make mistakes.

Regardless, some of their calls were absurd, so even fans from opposing teams voiced their frustration over the horrendous officiating.

Let’s take a look at the 2021 NBA season. One game, particularly the match between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets, highlighted how awful these referees were.

With 9:41 left in the third quarter, Kyrie Irving committed a foul, which he was clearly upset about. It reached a point where he jawed with Lakers guard Dennis Schroder, having a heated exchange on the court.

Although the conversation between the two was harmless or would not escalate, the referees quickly gave each a technical foul. Remember that Irving and Schroder have never been ejected in their entire NBA career. But the game became served as their first ejection.

It happened while the two continued their discussion, and the officials had had enough, kicking Irving and Schroder off the court. As a result, it ruined an exciting game, and fans, especially bookies like OKBET, were not happy.

Technical Fouls: What is it?

OkBet NBA Technical Fouls

According to the NBA Rulebook, a technical is any excessive foul. Primarily, it includes unsportsmanlike behavior, violations made by players and coaches, delay of games, detrimental conduct, and more.

Here are some reasons why referees give out this type of call:


Only seven (7) timeouts are allowed per regulation, with a maximum duration of 75 seconds. Once coaches use up the allotted timeouts, they can still call for more in exchange for an automatic technical foul, resulting in a free throw and possession to the opponent.

Game Delay

Every NBA game is fast-paced and adheres to a specific flow. There are instances where players and coaches disrupt the balance, forcing referees to issue necessary technical fouls.

For a delay of the game, it must be:

  • Player prevents the ball to be in-bounded in an orderly manner.
  • Player interferes with the ball after scoring
  • When a foul or violation is committed, player does not immediately gives the ball back to the referee
  • Touching the ball even before it was thrown in
  • Defender crosses the line at the throw-in spot even before the attacking player inbounds the ball
  • Boundary line is crossed by a coach, a player, or a trainer
  • A free throw shooter walks past the three-point line while making free throws
  • Untucked shirt before entering the game

Note that the first offense is always equivalent to a warning from the officials. The second offense, however, will be a technical foul.

Technical fouls can also reset the clock to 14 seconds or stay the same before the call. If it is called before an opponent makes it to the half-court, there will be a fresh 8-second count.


NBA is stringent regarding the integrity of the game and the association as a whole. The league ensures that basketball is played cleanly. Referees are given the responsibility to assess if a player or a team deserves a technical.

Here are some of the reasons:

  • Disrespectful toward an official
  • Unnecessary contact with an official
  • Excessive expression caused by a call or a missed call
  • Cursing or profanity
  • Coach enters the court without a go-signal from the referee
  • Player commits an unnatural physical contact
  • Taunting
  • Eye guarding
  • Intentionally throws the ball or any other thing at a player
  • Throwing or kicking the ball into the stands

How Much Does a Technical Cost?

Technical fouls, including flagrant fouls, merit fines, and even suspensions. The NBA increases the number of allowed technicals depending if it is the regular season or the playoffs.

Here is the table for reference:


Regular Season
Number of TechnicalsFine
16$5000 and a 1-game suspension
Each Additional$5000
Each Two Additional$5000 and a 1-game suspension


Number of TechnicalsFine
7$5000 and a 1-game suspension
Each Additional$5000
Each Additional Two$5000 and a 1-game suspension


Ejections are also fined, depending on how often they have been ejected. The commissioner can also punish players, coaches, and trainers by having them pay a fine of up to $50,000.

Referees, Management to Blame

NBA referees have been in knee-deep controversies since basketball took over in the 70s. From fixing games to holding grudges, these officials were among the reasons the game’s quality declined. 

Not all referees are bad, but it is also considered spoiled when a good apple is mixed with rotten ones. If a good official gets associated with the likes of Joey Crawford, Bob Delaney, Bennett Salvatore, and Earl Strom, the perception of fans is that he/she is also bad at officiating games.

Not to mention how lenient NBA is to referees.

One incident involves NBA referee Ben Taylor who targetted Toronto Raptors star Fred VanVleet, slapping him with a technical foul after a technical foul. It became so obvious that the media feasted on it. 

However, instead of reprimanding the referee for abusing power, the NBA fined VanVleet $30,000 for “public criticism of the officiating.”

The Raptors guard expressed his frustration about Taylor’s horrendous officiating in an interview, saying that the referee was “terrible” that night. 

I’ll take a fine. I don’t really care. I thought Ben Taylor was f****** terrible tonight. For most nights, out of the three [officials], there’s one or two that just f*** the game up. 

“It’s been like that a couple [of] games in a row. Denver was tough, obviously. You come out tonight competing pretty hard, [and] in the third quarter, I get a b******* tech, [it] changes the whole dynamic of the game, changes the whole flow of the game,” he said in a press conference after receiving his eight technical of the ‘22-’23 season.

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