It wouldn't be a great Golden State Warriors series without a little bit of controversy from their star power forward, Draymond Green.
In the latest from a long list of negative attention, Green is right in the middle of an incident that occurred last night in Game 2 of the Western Conference first round against the Sacramento Kings.
In the fourth quarter, Kings' guard Malik Monk missed a transition floater which led to Sacramento center Domantas Sabonis on the floor in an attempt to grab the rebound. Sabonis then grabbed Green's leg as Green was trying to get up the court which then prompted Green to slam his foot into Sabonis' chest while he was still on the ground. Sabonis was given a flagrant-1 foul for the grab and Green was assessed a flagrant-2 and ejected from the game. Green's absence allowed the Kings to score 23 points in the last seven minutes of the game, winning 114-106 and going up 2-0 in the series.
@BleacherReport posted the play on Twitter:
During the referees viewing of the play on the monitor, trying to decipher the play as a whole, Draymond could be seen waving his hand at the Kings' home crowd, egging them on as they were letting him know about their displeasure.
After the game, a reporter in the post game press conference asked Green what happened to which Green replied, "My leg got grabbed. Second time in two nights. Referees just watching." He then continued in typical Draymond Green-fashion and tried to justify his actions. "I gotta land my foot somewhere. And I'm not the most flexible person, so it's not stretching that far," Draymond said. "I can only step so far. He was pulling my leg away. It is what it is."
It was a physical play in what has been a physical series thus far, but Draymond has a history of making dirty plays. Remember this play in the 2016 Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder?
Yeah, he looks pretty flexible to me there.
These two aren't the only controversial plays from Green. NBA fans know all too well about his on-court antics and his trash talk. I recommend looking up "Draymond Green dirty plays" on YouTube if you don't believe me.
I believe Green trying to justify his actions from last night's game is hilarious. He lifted up his foot and stomped on Sabonis' chest. End of discussion. Yes, Sabonis should not have grabbed him, but I do not believe that grabbing someone in the heat of a play gives that person the green light to try and break their ribcage.
Of course though, Green would disagree with me.
In fact, he disagrees with me so much that he believes his ankle needs an X-Ray. According to Andscaped's Marc Spears, Green requested an X-Ray on his right ankle after feeling soreness as he believes the injury was a result of Sabonis grabbing it.
I don't want to minimize a potential injury from an athlete as I obviously don't know what it's like to play a professional sport and the things it can do to one's body, but Green asking for an X-Ray does seem a little suspicious. It seems a little too obvious that he wants the narrative to be "Sabonis hurt me on a dirty play" when in reality he was the one that tried to squish Sabonis like a bug.
At the end of the day, I respect what Draymond Green brings to the Warriors. This style of play clearly has worked as the Warriors have been on a run since 2015. With that being said however, I do think he is a dirty player whose emotions get the best of him. Maybe I am a little bias against him because his team took down the Celtics in The Finals last season and I had to listen to him talk about it all summer on his podcast, "The Draymond Green Show." If Draymond Green fans think that I am bias then so be it. You're probably a little correct.
Nonetheless, it'll be interesting to see what the league does about this incident and if Draymond gets suspended. As mentioned, the Warriors are down 2-0 right now, but are heading back home for the next two games where they can tie the series. They need Draymond and they probably need some of his antics to fire up the home crowd at the Chase Center.
(Update: Draymond Green has been suspended for Game 3 of the Warriors-Kings series)
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- W. Monast