Draymond Green, the Golden State Warriors forward, has been fined but not suspended for the controversial kick-to the-groin incident during Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday.
Green had kicked Thunder center Steven Adams in the groin area while driving to the basket during the closing stages of the first half of Golden State’s defeat. While many pundits reckoned the kick didn’t come across as intentional, there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest otherwise.
Draymond Green fined $25,000
After a lot of deliberation, the referees ruled the play a flagrant 1. However, the NBA has reviewed the play and upgraded it to a flagrant 2 while slapping Green with a $25,000 fine. Luckily for the Warriors, the league declared that there was no malice intent on Green’s part and therefore didn’t warrant a suspension.
Green, who plays with his heart on his sleeve, is now sitting on three flagrant foul points this postseason and would receive an automatic suspension if he were to pick up another flagrant.
Kiki VanDeWeghe, NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations, announced the verdict in a statement Monday. “After a thorough investigation that included review of all available video angles and interviews with the players involved and the officials working the game, we have determined that Green’s foul was unnecessary and excessive and warranted the upgrade and fine,” said VanDeWeghe.
No evidence to suggest malicious intent…
VanDeWeghe cited Green’s explanation that the kick came as a result of a reflex action in his shooting motion. “During a game, players — at times — flail their legs in an attempt to draw a foul, but Green’s actions in this case warranted an additional penalty.”
On Monday, Green was adamant that the kick was not intentional. “I said, ‘Scott (referee), how am I getting a flagrant because my leg went in the air trying to follow through on a shot?’ He said, ‘Draymond, I’m not saying it’s intentional. Honestly, I don’t think it was intentional at all. But you caught him in the groin area, so I have to give you a flagrant. I didn’t argue it. It said, ‘OK, that’s understandable.'”
Warriors can breathe a sigh of relief. If Draymond Green were suspended, the team would have most likely trailed 1-3 at the end of Tuesday’s game, seeing as the power forward is the primary facililator, emotional and vocal leader of the reigning NBA champions.
Game 4 is on Tuesday.