NBA Officials Blasted For Ejecting Draymond Green In Game 1 Of Western Conference Semifinals
“Today’s league: flagrant 2. BACK IN THE DAY: common foul!” said Suns center JaVale McGee.
A controversial call resulting in the automatic ejection of Draymond Green left the Golden State Warriors without a star playmaker during Game 1 of their second-round NBA playoff series versus the Memphis Grizzlies.
As Memphis forward Brandon Clarke went up for a dunk in the final seconds of the first half, Green contacted Clarke’s head and swiped down, grabbing Clarke’s jersey in the process, ESPN reports.
Watch the moment below:
Despite Green’s claim that “my hand got caught in his jersey,” refs ultimately ruled the action a flagrant foul 2, defined by the NBA as “unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent.” The mandatory penalty includes ejection of the player who committed the foul.
Green ran around the Grizzlies’ FedExForum high-fiving teammates and instigating boos from the home crowd before exiting the game with six points, four rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block. The Warriors ended up clutching a 117-116 win without Green to kick off the series.
But as BroBible notes, fans and NBA players including Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges questioned the punishing flagrant 2 ruling.
Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee made the point that Green’s action would never have been called in earlier NBA history, while others bashed officials.
Green himself was quick to address the call on an emergency episode of his The Draymond Green Show podcast.
“We’ve seen questionable calls in the first round, some things that didn’t get reviewed,” Green said. “Sometimes I guess it’s just a case-by-case thing. It’s a reputation thing. I think tonight was probably a reputation thing more so than a hard foul.”
Bleacher Report adds that Warriors coach Steve Kerr was told reporters he was surprised by the final ruling. Green revealed that he initially didn’t even think he’d receive a lesser flagrant 1, which doesn’t result in ejection.
“I’m actually dumb enough to think I wasn’t gonna get a flagrant-1. Talk about an idiot. You want to call anybody a idiot, look no further than Draymond Green himself,” he said. “I was about to start dancing to the crowd saying ‘Kick him out! Kick him out!’ to taunt them because it’s like, ‘Kick him out for that!?’ so I was about to start dancing.”
“When I was literally starting to edge up off the scorer’s table, something said to me, ‘But it’s you involved in this play, Draymond. Because it’s you involved in this play you probably shouldn’t dance because you probably should always expect the unexpected.'”
The Warriors-Grizzlies Western Conference Semifinals series continues May 3 at 9:30 p.m. EST on TNT.