After a postseason filled with flagrant fouls, dirty plays and cheap shots, the NBA has finally suspended Draymond Green, turning his scuffle with LeBron James into another flagrant foul, resulting in his suspension from game 5.
Obviously, this can be looked at from a number of angles. It probably all depends on which team you’re a fan of, and what you feel about LeBron James. Yes, that, once again, is at the base of your reaction to the suspension.
Personally, I think it’s about time. Green twice tried to make Steven Adams incapable of having children, tripped Enes Kanter, bodyslammed Michael Beasley and almost tore Adams’ arm off, all in the span of one postseason. The NBA kept adding up discipline points after the games, but somehow failed to see any intent or malice in Green’s actions.
Some might find it annoying that only after Green gets into something with James, he gets suspended. Is hurting other players less important to the league? In the whole James incident it seems both parties had a piece of the blame. But James, who got a technical, never really did anything flagrant. He stepped over Green and got into a chest bumping moment with him. Green flopped and tried (or succeeded) in hurting James “down under”, and also trying to hit James in the aftermath, coming up short. Green and Warriors fans love to say that his high kicking is simply instinct; something he can’t control. Turns out he has another move in his arsenal that’s completely not his fault.
There’s also the situation of all of this. When the Warriors were down 1-3 in their series against the Thunder, it seemed Green could get away with anything, he won’t get suspended. Now that the Warriors are up 3-1 and the NBA might find it in their best interest to give this series a few more games, Green is bad enough to find himself out? There was immense pressure from both teams to make a decision. The Cavaliers were the ones who end up smiling.
The league can always say it was an accumulation of vices, and it had nothing to do with the history of the player, the person he did it to and the situation in the series. But for anyone who has been watching this league for a while, it’s impossible to believe in fairness and impartiality. Green should have been suspended, only it should have happened a long time ago. This happening now only makes it feel like the NBA is being protective of James (although it doesn’t feel like it during games), even if suspending him is the right decision.
Green isn’t even allowed to be in the building, so if the Warriors do finish the job in five games, he’ll be celebrating, initially, on his own. It’ll be an interesting situation for the Warriors, who have played just once this entire season without Green on the floor: A 112-110 loss against the Denver Nuggets back in January. It’s impossible to say what effect it’ll have on game 5.