- J Pat Carter/Getty
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is facing a possible suspension after kicking Oklahoma City Thunder big man Steven Adams in the groin during the Warriors’ Game 3 loss to the Thunder on Sunday.
Green received a flagrant-one foul on the play and stayed in the game, though many argued that he should have been ejected for what looked like an intentional kick.
Now, with the NBA weighing a suspension, Green is defending his actions with a line of reasoning that isn’t all that convincing.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Green said he shouldn’t be suspended like Cavaliers forward Dahntay Jones, who will miss a game after punching Raptors center Bismack Biyombo in the groin. Why? Green points out a punch and a kick are different (via Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group).
“If I come punch you in your head, I probably did that on purpose because I’m going to intentionally use my arm,” Green said. “I don’t think you could ever really compare a leg to an arm. … So I don’t think it can be compared to a punch, my leg going in the air. It’s completely different.”
Green also went after Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, who said the kick looked intentional after the game.
“Russell (Westbrook) said I did it on purpose but he’s a part of the superstar group that started all this acting in the NBA,” Green said. “I didn’t. So, I sold the call.”
What Green appears to be missing is that flopping is also a violation in the NBA, subject to fines and suspensions after enough infractions. Saying he was merely flopping because others do it isn’t a great argument.
Green said his reaction after the play also suggests that the kick wasn’t intentional.
“If you watch my reaction, I walked back to the three-point line, clapped everybody’s hand and looked like, what’s the dude on the floor for? So all the camera angles out there, they can see that, too. You know, it is what it is. People are going to judge what they’re going to judge.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr also defended Green on Monday:
Steve Kerr says NBA is “rampant with flailing” and “lots of flopping” which contributes to the rash of low blows recently
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 23, 2016
After Game 3, Kerr had said he didn’t think the kick was intentional and that incidental contact happens. He pointed to Westbrook kicking his legs out on three-point shot attempts as an example.
A league decision on Green’s punishment will likely come out on Monday, and it could have huge ramifications for what’s becoming an increasingly intense series between two Western Conference heavyweights.