The NBA suspending Draymond Green from game 5 of the NBA Finals points out to one thing above everything else: People really hate LeBron James.
Just before this series began, everyone (except Warriors fans) couldn’t comprehend how Green hasn’t been suspended for his antics in the series against the Oklahoma City Thunder: Twice kneeing Steven Adams in the groin, tripping Enes Kanter in a dangerous way, and pulling off a WWE move on Adams, although it kinda backfired on him. There has been more, including in the series against the Cavaliers. Green doesn’t just play dirty – half of his moves are actually made to injure players, no matter how much he, Steve Kerr and his teammates claim it’s all innocent and part of his game and charm.
But now that Green is finally suspended for picking up another flagrant foul, people are clamoring that the series is rigged and the NBA is doing everything in its power to make the series go a bit longer. They were saying the NBA was all in favor of the Warriors making the finals less than two weeks ago, and that Green wasn’t suspended because they wanted the Warriors to win. Green could have been automatically suspended for his assaults on Adams (not exactly the gentlest of players himself), but the league stuck to its accumulation system until he crossed the suspension threshold in game 4.
Beyond all the radio chatter and conspiracy talk, there are facts: Green hit James in the groin while James was walking over him, and then tried hitting him again. Was James in the right here? No. He was looking for trouble and deserved the technical foul he got. But Green let his temper get to him, with the knowledge sitting in the back of his mind that he’s gotten away with it again misleading him.
The Warriors knew Green was going to get suspended but waited until the verdict was out to start personally attacking LeBron James for being soft. Curry even said that he would have done the same thing as Green if James walked over him. I wonder what Warriors players and fans would have said for someone playing dirty against them. They were up in arms over a legitimate foul by Patrick Beverley on Curry, or when Matthew Dellavedova accidentally hit Andre Iguodala in the same sensitive area Green hit James in.
But there’s nothing new about it. Justice is subjective, and NBA fans and players can twist it in any way and direction they want. The Warriors are trying to sell some sort of narrative that they’ve been screwed by the league. Maybe this attitude will help them in game 5, as they have the opportunity to complete the repeat, even if Green isn’t playing, and even not allowed to be in the building during the game. Everyone will forget this suspension if the Warriors finish the job, and go back to dissing James for not being as good as Michael Jordan.