As reported by ESPN, the NBA handed down a one-game suspension to Golden State Warriors power forward, Draymond Green, on Sunday for his actions in game four of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Green got into a verbal and physical altercation with Cleveland’s LeBron James late in the fourth quarter, resulting in the league assessing Green a flagrant foul 1 upon their review of the incident. During the altercation, Green swung his right arm and struck James in the groin area after James attempted to step over Green as he laid on the court following the two getting tangled up in the paint. James immediately turned around and confronted Green and had to be separated by teammates. Green’s flagrant foul from Friday night is his fourth of the postseason, which carries an automatic one-game suspension under NBA rules.
— Matt Winer (@matt_winer) June 11, 2016
NBA executive vice president of basketball operations, Kiki Vandeweghe, released a short statement on how the league came to their decision to keep Green out of the potential title-clinching game by the Bay on Monday night.
“The cumulative points system is designed to deter flagrant fouls in our game. While Draymond Green’s actions in Game 4 do not merit a suspension as a standalone act, the number of flagrant points he has earned triggers a suspension for Game 5.”
Draymond Green is no stranger to being disciplined by the league for making contact with an opponent’s groin, as he was assessed a flagrant 2 and fined $25,000 for kicking Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams between the legs during the Western Conference Finals.
Fans of the Golden State Warriors and LeBron-haters are going to argue that James shouldn’t have stepped over Draymond Green. But, is stepping over a person really enough reason for them to take a shot at your private area? The simple answer is no. Obviously, LeBron James should have handled himself better and not escalated the situation by stepping over Green. However, in no way, shape, or form did James’ actions call for Draymond Green to respond in the manner that he did. Conspiracy theorists are going to try to make the argument that the NBA suspended Green because they want the series to go back to Cleveland for a sixth, but in reality, Green’s suspension lines up with the NBA’s protocol on flagrant fouls, which is to suspend any player who accumulates four or more flagrant foul points in a postseason. Again, while Green’s groin shot was dirty, it likely did not deserve a suspension on the act alone. But, Green’s history with low blows and accumulation of flagrant fouls allowed this to be the boiling point for the league to step in and hand down a suspension.