There was surprise and anger when the Warriors learned about Draymond Green‘s suspension for Game 3 of their playoff series with the Kings, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on his latest podcast (hat tip to RealGM).
Green will be forced to sit out Thursday’s game for stepping on Domantas Sabonis while he was lying on the court during the fourth quarter of Game 2. Green was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul and was ejected after spending several minutes inciting the Sacramento crowd during a review of the play.
NBA vice president and head of basketball operations Joe Dumars explained on Wednesday that Green’s status as a “repeat offender” factored into the decision to impose a suspension without pay, rather than just a fine. Dumars also cited “excessive and over-the-top actions” and “conduct detrimental (to the league).”
Lowe adds that part of the Warriors’ frustration with the ruling is their feeling that Sabonis has been allowed to be overly physical in the first two games of the series. Golden State players and coaches believe that referees are permitting him to get away with too much, which is why Green reacted in the way that he did.
“There’s a sense in the organization that Sabonis is shoving people on offensive rebounds and playing with his elbows out and using the ball as a weapon on offense,” Lowe said. “So, ‘Of course someone eventually retaliated.’ You can give that any validity you want.”
Speaking today with reporters, coach Steve Kerr admitted being “extremely surprised” by the suspension, tweets Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Green addressed the team during today’s practice, Andrews adds, but Kerr declined to reveal any details (Twitter link).
“There’s no time to spend worrying about it … it doesn’t matter,” Kerr said about the suspension. “We know what the league decided to do and we have to respond accordingly.”