In Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals last night, the Thunder humiliated the Warriors 133 – 105. The Warriors trail in the series 2 -1. The Warriors now await the NBA league office’s decision whether Draymond Green will be suspended for Game 4 for his viral low blow on Thunder Center Steven Adams in the second quarter.
Green’s now infamous groin kick has been seen on social media on a continuous loop in GIF and Vine form since it happened. The debate is raging whether he should be suspended.
After the game, Green told reporters the shot wasn’t intentional. The media and fans appear to largely disagree. In The Herd today, Colin said Green shouldn’t be suspended. He gave two primary reasons:
1.) It’s very hard to prove intent. Green probably kicked Adams intentionally, but no one can prove it.
2.) Steven Adams wasn’t severely hurt and won’t miss the next game.
The Green kick on Adams happened while the two big men were battling in the post. Post play in the NBA is physical by nature. Contact is expected. The kick may have been intentional, but it occurred where a lot of physical contact is common.
If Russell Westbrook gets his legs taken out while attempting a dunk on a fast break, it’s different. That type of contact for a perimeter player isn’t common in the flow of the game. There’s also a risk of serious injury.
If Green kicked a star player, as opposed to a marginal player like Adams, Colin would favor a suspension.
“There’s a difference between robbing a 7-11 and robbing a bank. Robbing a bank is a federal crime, and kicking Steven Adams is different than kicking Kevin Durant if he continued to play, but wouldn’t be the same player in the series.”
Former NBA league executive Stu Jackson joined The Herd today to discuss the Green incident. Jackson served as the NBA Vice President of Basketball Operations from 2007 to 2013. His responsibilities as Executive VP included handing down player discipline and suspensions.
He went inside the NBA’s internal decision making process in levying suspensions. Jackson said the ultimate decision regarding Green will be made by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. His decision may differ from the the recommendations of league executives.
He recalled instances where former NBA commissioner David Stern vetoed his recommendations for punishment.
“Most times I would take a recommendation to David Stern, and he would say, ‘Yes, let’s go with it, just tell me when it’s going to be announced.’ In case he needs to respond. But there were those times he would basically tell me over the phone ‘Are you out of your mind?’ I would respectfully respond and tell him all of the reasons why I arrived at the decision, and he would say, ‘We’re not doing that.’”
In making the ultimate decision regarding Green, Commissioner Silver has to consider more than the act, including sponsors and television contracts. Jackson noted, “A commissioner of a professional sports league has many other things to consider other than the world of discipline on the floor. It’s his right to do that. He has to weigh his concerns from a broadcast standpoint against what the rules are.”