NBA history happened in Friday night’s Golden State/Milwaukee Bucks game. Here’s what went down:
The Warriors were playing without Turiaf, Watson, Randolph, Radmanovic, and had just eight players at tip-off. That number dropped to seven when Anthony Morrow had to leave the game due to an injury just four minutes into the 1st quarter. Reserve, Chris Hunter, then fouled out after just 11 minutes of playing time, leaving the Warriors then with only six eligible players. Early in the third quarter, the Warriors had three players with four fouls (Curry, Ellis, & Biedrins), thus raising the concern, “what happens if the Warriors only have four eligible players remaining?”
The question was answered during the telecast, as the announcers flashed the above NBA rule on the screen. They said that they had never seen it happen in their lives and that referee, Joe Crawford, hadn’t seen it in his 30+ years in the league. And then, destined to happen to the Warriors, Biedrins fouled out in the 4th quarter and with just four seconds left in the game, Stephen Curry committed his sixth foul, putting Rule No. 3 (Section 1 A) officially (and for the first time ever!) in play.
The Bucks were rewarded a technical free throw and then the two from the over-the-limit foul. Curry was allowed to stay in the game and had there been more time and he committed any more fouls, it would have been treated the same as it was before.
That, of course, made me wonder what would have happened if there was more time and another Warriors player got hurt and had to leave the game. That’s answered in Section 1b of the rule:
b. In the event that there are only five eligible players remaining and one of these players is injured and must leave the game or is ejected, he must be replaced by the last player who was disqualified by reason of receiving six personal fouls. Each subsequent requirement to replace an injured or ejected player will be treated in this inverse order.Any such re-entry into a game by a disqualified player shall be penalized by a technical foul.
NBA history, holler.