In the National Basketball Association (NBA), shattering a backboard during a game is penalised with a “non-unsportsmanlike” technical foul and a possible fine for the player. However, the player may not be ejected, nor shall the foul count towards a player’s total towards either ejection or suspension.
Shattering a backboard is extremely dangerous, sending various small pieces of the backboard glass flying over the players, sideline press personnel, referees and fans that could generate serious injuries. Consequently, the stunt has caused games to be cancelled or delayed in the past.
On August 26 1985, American professional basketball player Michael Jordan dunked so hard during a Nike exhibition game in Trieste, Italy that the backboard was completely broken. The moment was filmed and is often cited around the world as a particularly important milestone in Jordan’s rise.