Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been suspended indefinitely after striking Phoenix Suns player Jusuf Nurkic in the face.
Green was ejected for a third time this season in the Warriors’ 119-116 defeat.
The National Basketball Association said it had given him a rare open-ended ban because of his “repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts”.
The league said the 33-year-old would be “required to meet certain league and team conditions” before he is allowed to return to play.
An indefinite suspension is an almost unheard of sanction by the NBA, which more commonly issues bans for a fixed number of games.
Referees ruled Green’s swinging arm into the face of Nurkic in the third quarter as a flagrant foul 2 – defined as “unnecessary and excessive contact” which leads to an automatic ejection.
The four-time NBA champion later apologised to Nurkic, saying he had accidentally struck the Bosnian after swinging his arm to try to win a foul call, believing he had been illegally held back.
However, the Suns player remained unhappy, saying: “What’s going on with him? I don’t know. Personally, I feel like that brother needs help.”