How fast can you foul out of an NBA game? | High Score


(computer beeps) – [Seth] Okay, so this
one’s a little weird, (electronic beeps) but it’s simple and it’s fun. (digital basketball bounces) You’re this little character. You’re playin’ basketball,
(digital thudding) but the thing is, you’re
rushing to get disqualified (digital beeping) by committing six fouls
as fast as possible. This game is against the clock, so the lowest time to
reach six fouls wins. You’re not supposed to play this game. Basketball isn’t meant to be violent. That’s why fouls exist. If you push or grab or trip or make some other
excessively rough contact with your opponent, they might
get to shoot free throws, which are super easy. And if you keep doing it,
the refs send you away after the sixth infraction
to think about what you did. Of course, players do foul out. Sometimes six fouls just can’t be avoided in thirty or forty
minutes of physical play. But there are exceptions. Despite those disincentives, players throughout NBA history
have burned all six fouls not over the course of a whole game, but in a matter of minutes. Fouling out fast isn’t exactly honorable, but if you consider it its own little game within the game of basketball, then we should figure out who
has the high scores and why. Early NBA box scores are spotty. But the original high
score for fouling out fast is widely agreed upon,
if not well-explained. This is Dick Farley with
the Syracuse Nationals. (digital basketball bouncing) In the second-to-last game
of the regular season, (digital beeping) Farley played five minutes
against the St. Louis Hawks. He scored a basket, hit a free throw, and for whatever reason,
fouled out of the game. Papers the next day were
focused on the playoff race and overlooked the fact
that a dude got disqualified after just five minutes off the bench. I cannot tell you why Dick
Farley committed six fouls in five minutes. But I can guess because
while Farley’s record stood for a long time, a lot of
people came close to it and they had their reasons. For example, in March of 1990, the Minnesota Timberwolves,
a crappy expansion team, hosted the excellent L.A. Lakers, which meant Sam Mitchell, a rookie forward who’d been playing in France the last couple years, found himself covering superstars like Magic Johnson and James
Worthy, a formidable task. Within minutes off the bench, Mitchell had collected four fouls. Coach Bill Musselman was fuming at Dick Bavetta and his officiating crew, then got a quick whistle of his own. But Musselman left Mitchell on the floor, only to watch the rookie pick
up a fifth contesting Worthy. Musselman blew his top and got ejected. At some point in the second half, Mitchell returned and quickly fouled out. Facing superstar talent
(digital basketball bouncing) will do that, especially
(digital beeping) when you’re the guy tasked with protecting the rim. Look at these fast foul-outs in 1996. David Vaughn got caught in the
all-consuming muscle tornado known as Karl Malone. Or Loren Meyer. The famously undersized
’96 Mavericks couldn’t hang with Alonzo Mourning, so
the big guy stepped in and couldn’t hang either. Or ask Duane Causwell. Causwell came off the bench
to guard Hakeem Olajuwon. And
(digital basketball bouncing) it doesn’t necessarily
take a superstar matchup to overwhelm a player. The guy might just be
inexperienced, like Steve Nash, flailing against the Blazers
in his rookie season. Or he might be injured and out of shape like Rik Smits in 1993. Smits had a hip issue and I
guess couldn’t control himself, committing four quick fouls. But Coach Larry Brown put
him back out there anyway and soon enough, Smits
entered the history books. Six fouls in six minutes. Keeping in mind that
minutes played were rounded to the nearest whole number
until pretty recently, one foul per minute seemed, for a while, like the fastest a player
could get himself disqualified. And even Dick Farley’s
weird night might’ve just been a rounding error. The 2004-2005 season brought
us some hope of a breakthrough. A player so reckless with his body, so persistent in his rule breaking, that he might be able to
set the new high score for fastest foul-out. That season was Danny Fortson’s
first with the Sonics. The veteran big man was given
a pretty marginal bench role, but he made the most of those minutes. Here are the ’04-’05 NBA
leaders in fouls per game, almost exclusively guys who
played 30-plus minutes a night, until you reach the top. Fortson averaged 4.3 fouls per game, despite averaging under
17 minutes of action in each of those games. The foul-machine was disqualified from 12 of the 62 games he played, which is astounding for a bench player. But even Fortson, on the foulingest night of his foulingest season, March 15, ’05, took just over six minutes
to reach his sixth foul. So even the most reckless
hacker can’t do better, worse, I guess, than a foul a minute. But that assumes good intentions. What if a player is being naughty? Remember before when I
said free throws are easy? It’s mostly true, but for certain players, it’s very much not. That includes some all-time
greats like Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt was so dominant
that we’ll probably need to devote a whole episode
of this series to just him. The Big Dipper hit basically all his shots and grabbed basically every rebound. But at the same time, he hit
just over half his free throws, which makes sense when
you see how he shot them. This form is so gross that
Wilt even experimented with underhand free throws. Anyway, Chamberlain’s 51% from the stripe was worse than what he shot
on two-point field goals with people defending him. So it made mathematical sense
to foul Wilt intentionally, especially near the ends of close games to regain possession. Just grab him. And of course, that strategy persists. The dominant, but free throw
deficient Shaquille O’Neal got bear-hugged so frequently that the deliberate fouling
tactic came to bear his name, Hack-a-Shaq. For the most part, this
strategy isn’t relevant to our high score pursuit. Coaches don’t want their guys to foul out so they spread the burden of hacking across multiple players. But not Don Nelson. Don Nelson had different ideas. That statement is broadly true. After winning a bunch of rings as a player with the Red Auerbach
Celtics, Nelson became a coach and soon distinguished himself as a risk-taker and innovator. In Milwaukee, Nelson pioneered the concept of a point forward, allowing a bigger guy to handle and distribute the ball long before that became popular. He started three guards in his first stint coaching the Warriors, the
legendary Run TMC trio. And in his second stint
coaching the Warriors, he pulled off a famous first-round upset with some wildly small lineups. Nelly wasn’t afraid to get
even weirder than that. Nelson was the dude who
instructed seven foot seven Manute Bol to shoot three-pointers. He coached offensive players
to link arms and hang back, forcing defenders to linger at half-court in an era when the NBA still
had illegal defense rules. So it should be no surprise that Nelson was a Hack-a-Shaq pioneer. During the Lakers’ heyday, Nelson was coaching the rival Mavericks and pushed his teams to
intentionally foul the big man at basically any time, not
just the end of the game. But Nelson’s finest hour was inspired by a different bad shooter. On December 29, 1997 in Chicago, the coach often called “The Mad Scientist” attempted his strangest experiment. Late in the first quarter,
the lowly Mavs were losing to the legendary, eventual champion Bulls when Bubba Wells checked in. Bubba Wells is not a significant player by any ordinary measure. This year in Dallas
was his only NBA season and he only played 39 games. But in this one, he made history. The first time the Bulls had possession, Wells attacked Dennis Rodman off the ball. Rodman is one of the greatest
defenders and rebounders ever, but hit just 58% of his career free throws and was having a particularly
bad season at the line. The announcers were amused. – [Announcer] There he is, he’s holdin’ him right there, yeah. That’s holding on the defense,
that’s 15 yards, John. – [Seth] And so was Wells. His mission soon became evident. Rodman went to the line and sure enough, missed one of his free throws. Cute tactic Coach Nelson, but Nelly and his guinea pig weren’t done. The Bulls got the ball back and before Michael Jordan
could pull up from three. Wells once again fouled Rodman, this time chasing him
the length of the floor to deliver a shove. Rodman laughed and once again
hit just one free throw. Quick intermission for Wells to do a normal basketball thing, hitting a baseline jumper and then right back to the hunt. This time, Rodman hung
out in the backcourt. Wells retreated to deliver the foul, but the refs didn’t call it. So after the next Mavs miss. Wells made sure to be
demonstrative and got his call. He and MJ were laughing. Bulls coach Phil Jackson, also laughing. – [Announcer] You know, he’s gonna be in the record book here very swiftly. – [Seth] And this time,
Rodman canned both shots then gave Nelson a stare-down. The quarter ended with Wells
having picked up three fouls in under two minutes. But Bubba’s night wasn’t over. Near the end of the third
quarter, he returned. The Mavs had possession, but the announcers knew what was coming. – [Announcer] He’s laughin’
as he comin’ up the floor. He may be just happy to be in the game. – [Seth] Chicago got the ball
after some Mavs free throws. And as soon as Rodman
inbounded, Wells jumped on him. Another one-for-two from the line. The Mavs scored, Rodman inbounded, and there went Wells again. – [Announcer] (whistle) There’s the foul. Here we go again. – [Seth] Rodman made both. Up to seven for ten on the evening. But that wasn’t enough
to abort the mission. The Bulls got the ball back, Wells found Rodman and with
a grab around the waist, fouled himself out of the game. That was fast, but was it faster than Dick Farley’s five
minute disqualification? Wells’ first three fouls
took around 90 seconds, add the quick second stint and you get to, wait, really? Holy shit, Bubba. Six fouls, three minutes,
a new high score, and a delight for everyone involved, except maybe the Mad Scientist whose experiment had technically failed. Rodman hit a solid nine
of those 12 free throws, scored 11 total points, and
nearly had a triple-double as the Bulls beat the Mavs by six. – [Announcer] Dennis Rodman
with a great ball game, 27 rebounds, eight assists, 11 points. – [Seth] Even though
Bubba’s mother accused him of drinking on the job
or just losing his mind and even though his
teammates started calling him Freddy Kruger, Wells seemed
cool with the whole thing. Rodman was defiant and said that wasn’t the right
way to get in his head, that it was a crazy game plan. Nelson has since admitted
that the plan backfired, perhaps because it motivated to focus, but he insisted the
strategy was sound overall. And indeed, Hack-a-whoever
remains a thing. The league keeps adding
rules to try to dissuade it, but as long as horrible
free throw shooters exist, it won’t completely go away. So I don’t think it’s impossible to beat Bubba Wells’ high
score for fastest foul-out. (digital basketball bouncing) It would take another coach
employing the hacking strategy. (digital beeping) It would take another
benchwarmer like Wells sacrificed to give all the fouls. And then it would take someone
acting more efficiently than Wells did. That seems doable since the refs missed one of his intentional grabs and he didn’t commit any offensive fouls. From Dick Farley to the hackers of today, the leaderboard for speedy
foul-outs is full of decent, or at least familiar players, on the night they hit their low point. They were so overwhelmed by inexperience, injury, or an impossible matchup that their nights ended
almost before they began. But the top of this
leaderboard is occupied by a man whose NBA career was so brief and ineffectual that it
might be completely forgotten if not for one absurd, historic night of being, well, brief and ineffectual. Sports history is defined
by heroes and champions, but somewhere deep in the margins, the record book also
reserves a weird little space for Bubba Wells
(fireworks exploding) and his high score.

100 thoughts on “How fast can you foul out of an NBA game? | High Score

  1. The Hack-a-Shaq could be prevented if Basketball, like Hockey, required the infracted team to touch the ball (or puck) before a penalty is awarded. This would allow the fouled team to complete their possession, and potentially score some points, before taking their free-throws.

  2. USC center Victor Uyaelunmo fouled out in 3 minutes off the bench against UCLA this year in a truly awe inspiring performance

  3. Interesting, but I was hoping to find out how early in a game a player has fouled out (i.e. ever in the 1st quarter?)

  4. This is the kind of story Bois would take on, only his would play like Tarantino while this is like a good Skillshare video.

  5. Part of the problem with that plan is that Rodman got to shoot many ft's in too short a period of time, getting better as he shot

  6. I could get fouled out in 5 seconds of play. Seriously, you don’t need 6 fouls, you just need 2 Technicals, and those would be extremely easy to get if you’re looking for em 😂

  7. the intentional 8bit thing going on just looks shitty. you dont need this gimmick to show that youre talking about old records

  8. KJ McDaniels could've shattered that record. But Bickerstaff took him out of the game after 5 intentional fouls in 30 seconds of gameplay against Drummond. Booooh!

  9. 2012 Champions league final needs a rewind. An awful domestic season for Chelsea is ended by the greatest moment in their history made by a club legend in his last game

    (We can ignore the time he came back for a season and didnt do much okay)

  10. even though they didn't let him pick up the 6th foul, kj mcdaniels 5 fouls in 9 seconds gotta be the record for most fouls in shortest amount of time. 1 foul every 1.8 seconds.

  11. I know he didn't foul out that game but y'all absolutely should've at least mentioned kj McDaniel's 5 fouls in 30 seconds. One of the weirdest things I'd ever seen on the court

  12. I fouled out in high school (5 fouls) in the second quarter one time. I had three fouls and they called a technical and a personal on me at the same time because I said a swear word during the play

  13. this is the all-time most hilarious thing I ever witnessed in a game of basketball. i will say though, the only thing that was funnier was in college hoops when that lunatic John Chaney sent in that one guy to deliberately tackle and throw elbows

  14. SB nation series ranked (my opinion):
    1. Chart party
    2. Pretty good
    3. Rewinder
    4. High score
    5. Dorktown
    6. Beef History
    7. The worst

    I like all of them but this is my ranking.

  15. Please never change how you make these videos, this is one of the few channels I don't instantly cringe at

  16. Tornado kick is pretty much what i would do. maybe some helicopter punches as soon as the whistle blows.

  17. He didn't foul out, but K.J McDaniels gave 5 fouls in 30 seconds for the Rockets in 2016 (It was to put Andre Drummond at the free throw line)

  18. Before watching this video, I was reading an article about how Don Nelson has been recently smoking weed with Willie Nelson.

  19. You couldn't foul your mother on the foulingest day of your life, if you had an electrified fouling machine.

  20. Just did a quick bball reference search and it looks like someone named john brown fouled out of a game in 1975 in 2 minutes. Is there some reason why he isn’t in the high score?

  21. Do you feel that Palestinians are actual people with humanity who deserve to live on land that their ancestors have lived on for thousands of years or do you consider all arab people to be dogs and anything they own should be taken by some other group of people that moved to the area more recently and has the backing of… basically the US and nobody else?

  22. 10:30min Just make it up to the team to chose the person doing the freethrow like in football(soccer). So be worst shoter wouldn't get fouled.

  23. Shaq said he used to do it on purpose when he got outta breath💀

  24. Hold up. 27 rebounds in one game! I knew he was a good rebounder but I guess I never realized how great he was at it. Do a high score for most rebounds in one game!

  25. Just came in to see if SB Nation is ok after Kawhi ruined LeChumps hope of ever getting another cheap championship

  26. “Put me in coach!”

    “Hell no, you have 5 fouls in 2 minutes!”

    “Exactly! Now…I SAID PUT ME IN!!!”

  27. what if they let the fouled player pick a teammate to take free throws instead of him if he's god awful at them?

  28. Whenever Lewis Hamilton passes Schumacher for career victories, a High Score episode should be done on that.

    Alternatively, a High Score on career DNFs or pole positions could be fun!

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