Draymond Green Suspended For Game 5 Of The NBA Finals

If the Golden State Warriors are going to close out the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, they’ll have to do it without star forward Draymond Green.

CBS Sports reports that Green has been assessed a one-game suspension by the NBA for accumulating too many flagrant foul points during the 2016 NBA Playoffs. The NBA’s vice president of basketball operations, Kiki Vandeweghe, issued a statement on the matter.

“The cumulative points system is designed to deter flagrant fouls in our game,” Vandeweghe said. “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.”

The NBA uses a point system to determine discipline for players who commit flagrant fouls during the playoffs. Green had already been called for flagrant 1 and flagrant 2 fouls earlier in the postseason, which gave him three flagrant foul points.

After reviewing Draymond Green’s Game 4 scuffle with LeBron James, it was decided that Green’s actions merited a flagrant 1 foul — thus giving Green four flagrant foul points, and an automatic suspension.

The play that ultimately led to Draymond Green’s suspension occurred when he fell to the floor after contact with Cavaliers star LeBron James. James then stepped directly over Green, and as Green stood up, he swung his right hand toward James. At the next dead ball, Green and James began to push and shove one another, and had to be separated by their teammates and referees who were working Game 4.


According to ESPN, there were two previous incidents in which Green was called for flagrant fouls. Green’s first flagrant foul of the playoffs was committed when he threw Michael Beasley to the floor in a first round game against the Houston Rockets. In the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Green was tagged with a flagrant 2 foul for kicking Thunder center Steven Adams in the groin area.

There have been other incidents involving Green that have been reviewed by the league during the 2016 NBA Playoffs, but several of those were not considered punishable — until Green’s physical altercation with LeBron James.

Vandeweghe determined that Draymond Green “made unnecessary contact with a retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin” after being pushed to the floor by James, and that Green’s actions merited an additional flagrant 1 foul — which in turn will cause Green to sit out Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Until some of these recent unsavory events have occurred, Draymond Green’s journey to NBA stardom was considered a terrific feel-good story.

Green was an outstanding college player at Michigan State, but NBA teams were unsure how his skills would translate to the professional ranks. It was thought that Green is not big enough to play power forward, but is too bulky and slow to play small forward at the NBA level.

This uncertainty resulted in Green falling to the second round of the NBA Draft, where he was chosen 35th overall by Golden State. It took Draymond Green a couple seasons to find his niche in the NBA, but once he did, he became an indispensable part of the defending NBA Champion Warriors.

Green had his best season yet in 2015-16, averaging 14 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per contest. In the NBA Finals against Cleveland, Green has been one of Golden State’s more effective players, posting 14.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game.

Draymond Green has become one of the most impactful and versatile players in the NBA, but he has also become known for his rough-and-tumble style of play, which has now cost his team one of their best players for Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images via AP]

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