Today the NBA announced that Draymond Green had retroactively been assessed a technical foul for his dustup with LeBron James in Friday’s Game 4 of the NBA Finals. In case you missed it, it looked something like this:
How bad a decision is this? So bad I find myself agreeing with Stephen A. Smith.
One explanation is that it’s a makeup call for Draymond’s non-suspension in the Steven Adams incident in the Conference Finals. He probably should have been suspended for that one — and it would have made no difference, as Draymond played horribly in the next game and the Warriors lost badly. They could only have been better off without him.
Another explanation is that the Association is shamelessly going out of its way to increase the likelihood of the series continuing, with the increase in revenue that would entail. I generally am very skeptical of conspiracy theories in sports; my belief is that a league like the NBA makes so much money that there’s no need to risk losing credibility to eke out a few more dollars. On the other hand, business is business, and money talks.
In any case, it makes for an intriguing storyline. After being relatively respectful adversaries for three games — helping each other up off the floor and so on — the Warriors and Cavs started to get really tired of each other in Game 4. LeBron got into it with both Green and Steph Curry, and after the game Klay Thompson was heard to say — somewhat deadpan — “I guess his feelings got hurt.”
There’s no doubt in my mind that the Warriors can win a game on their home court without Draymond Green. He will be missed, but there are some other good players on the team. I’m thinking especially of Andre Iguodala, who will be called upon to play big minutes. This is just the kind of situation that causes a team to rally together, and all they need to do is play 48 more minutes of good basketball, then they can have four months to rest.
My immediate question was, if the W’s do manage to pull it off, does Draymond get to celebrate with them? “Per a league source,” says Bleacher Report, “Draymond’s suspension will bar him from being at Oracle during G5 but he will be allowed in postgame should GSW win.” So that’s good news. I sort of wish the game was tonight; 28 more hours is a long time to wait to see what happens, but it should be fun.