Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been suspended for Monday’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals, with the league assessing him a Flagrant Foul 1 for “unnecessary contact with a retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin” of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James in the fourth quarter of Friday’s Game 4.
According to the official statement released by the NBA, Green is being suspended without pay for compiling his fourth Flagrant Foul point of the 2016 postseason. League rules state that any player who accumulates four such points will be penalized with a one-game suspension. Each subsequent flagrant foul will result in either another one- or two-game suspension, depending on the play in question.
Here is the statement from the league:
Draymond Green will not be playing in Game 5 pic.twitter.com/nrHsoOET1q
— Harry Lyles Jr. (@harrylylesjr) June 12, 2016
A one-game suspension for what occurred between Green and James in Game 4 seems excessively harsh. Green could be seen taking a swipe at the Cavs forward as he stepped over him in addition to another swipe after that which didn’t make contact. James was also issued a technical foul for his part in the play.
Here is a look at the altercation in question:
While Green didn’t appear to cause any harm, taking swings at opponents’ groins is not something the NBA wants to encourage. The league is saying that Green’s cumulative record during the 2016 postseason is the reason for the penalty.
“While Draymond Green’s actions in Game 4 do not merit a suspension as a standalone act, the number of flagrant points he has earned triggers a suspension for Game 5,” said NBA executive VP of basketball operations, Kiki VanDeWeghe.
Green has drawn five technical fouls and was fined $25,000 for kicking Oklahoma City Thunder center in the groin during Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. (Green was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 for that play, but not suspended.) In the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs, Green drew a Flagrant Foul 1 for throwing down the Houston Rockets’ Michael Beasley.
NBA plays its part in trying to make #NBAFinals go to a 6th game. Got Draymond suspension wrong.
— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) June 12, 2016
The apparent harmlessness of Green swiping out at James will surely bring out the conspiracy theorists asserting that the NBA is attempting to make a more competitive NBA Finals by depriving the Warriors of one of their best players, giving the Cavs a better chance of winning Game 5 and pushing the series to a sixth game.
Under league rules, Green can’t be in Oracle Arena during Game 5. The one-game suspension will also cost him approximately $140,000, or the equivalent of one game check.