ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith believes that Draymond Green, who was suspended for Game 3 of the first round playoff series between the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings for stomping on the chest of Kings center Domantas Sabonis, should not have faced such a harsh penalty for his actions.
“I’m disgusted with the NBA this morning,” Smith said on the Wednesday morning edition of First Take on ESPN. “I’m sick and tired of everybody acting like this is just another game. It’s not just another game. It’s a playoff game. You got to do something far more flagrant than this to be suspended.”
Although Smith admitted that Green has had his fair share of unsportsmanlike conduct in past NBA playoff games, he contended that Sabonis was the one who instigated Green’s actions in Game 2, particularly for the way he grabbed Green’s leg.
“My issue is, you see what Sabonis has done,” Smith said. “He’s not some innocent bystander in all of this. Context, which I’ll leave it to J.J. [Redick] to provide, definitely needs to be taken into consideration here.”
NBA executive vice president and head of basketball operations Joe Dumars obviously had a different viewpoint than Smith, citing Green’s “excessive” actions in the past as a crucial contributing factor in Green’s suspension for Game 3.
“Here’s what it came down to: Excessive and over-the-top actions, conduct detrimental and a repeat offender,” Dumars told ESPN in a phone call on Wednesday morning. “That’s what separates this where you end up with a suspension.”
When asked about the stomp, Green said that Sabonis grabbing his leg was the reason for his reaction in the post-game interviews for Game 2.
“My leg got grabbed. Second time in two nights,” Green explained. “Referees just watch it. I gotta land my foot somewhere and I am not the most flexible person, so I can’t stretch it that far… I can only step so far with him pulling my leg away, it is what it is. The explanation was that I stomped too hard… I wasn’t surprised that he stayed down.”
Do you think that the Draymond Green suspension for Game 3 was justified? Or was his reaction “excessive,” as NBA executive vice president and head of basketball operations Joe Dumars put it? Let us know in the comments.
You can view the incident between Green and Sabonis here.