The NBA's suspension of Draymond Green did not match the "crime" in question. It was personal.
Tip-off of Game 4 of the Warriors-Kings series is today at 3:30 PM ET
The NBA handed down a suspension to Golden State Warriors star and defensive maestro, Draymond Green. Whether or not it’s a justified suspension, it doesn’t matter because Draymond missed Game 3. The Kings knew exactly what they were doing with Domantas Sabonis and knew they had to perform dirty non-basketball plays to get under the skin of Draymond, because he eventually would retaliate. As we saw in the 2016 Finals against LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and company, you have to get to Draymond to have a chance against the Dubs.
Targeting the Wrong Man
Now, as a Warrior fan, I do not like that the NBA rewarded these actions by suspending Draymond. I do get it, though; Draymond has been suspended every series Golden State has lost besides the Raptors series. Mike Brown 100% knew that and told Sabonis to do it (yeah I said it!). The problem with it all is that Draymond Green is getting in trouble when Sabonis is making extremely dirty plays. For example, on the very play in question, Sabonis started stumbling and chose to grab Klay Thompson’s jersey in an attempt to bring him down with him. Then, when Klay did not fall, he latched onto Draymond. This is not a basketball play. This is dirty.
To begin the sequence in Game 1 after Wiggins missed an open three again, Sabonis was on the ground and grabbed Draymond Green to not let him proceed down the court. How is that basketball? Draymond Green somehow is the player in question, when the fact of the matter is, if your foot is being held by an NBA power forward or center, you are not going to be able to move your leg very far. No matter what Draymond does he is going to be stepping on Sabonis. There is nowhere else for him to step. Sabonis and Mike Brown after the game did the same thing LeBron did; play the victim role head on and say, “there is no place for this type of stuff in basketball." In fact, they did this because they knew it was the only real chance they had at winning the series (I said it again!).
Dumars Admits Bias
The absolute worst part about all of this is even if Sabonis and Draymond switched positions in this situation and it was Draymond grabbing Sabonis’s leg, NBA media would have blown up and Draymond would have still been suspended for Game 3. I can understand the flagrant 2 foul they gave Draymond. Fine, whatever. What is not ok is Joe Dumars, former member of the “Bad Boy Pistons,” when asked if someone else without Draymond's track record would have received a different punishment said, “that’s a possibility, yes, there’s a possibility it would have been handled differently.” He also said, “if Domantas Sabonis doesn’t grab Draymond’s ankle it wouldn’t have happened.” Acknowledging the fact that Draymond didn’t start this at all.
Impact of Unfair Officiating
The NBA's true colors are being shown now because Joel Embiid, who very well might be the MVP, kicked Nic Claxton in a less than ideal location. Embiid was not given a flagrant 2 and only received a flagrant 1. This shows whether or not the suspension was fair for Draymond. Charles Barkley and Shaq said the Embiid kick was worse than what Draymond did, by far. The suspension was handed down because of Draymond’s history and not the play itself. If Draymond was not suspended and ejected from Game 3, the series would be 2-1 right now back at the Chase Center while taking home court advantage from the Kings. Instead, the Warriors must win three of four to win the series.