Draymond Green committed a hard foul on Memphis Grizzlies big man Brandon Clarke just before halftime of the Warriors' thrilling 117-116 win in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal series.
Most people watching would agree that Green has no ill-intent when he grabbed Clarke's jersey and yanked him to the court at FedExForum.
But the referees, led by crew chief Kane Fitzgerald, decided to review the play for a possible Flagrant Foul.
After consulting the replay center, Fitzgerald and the other two officials, James Williams and Gediminas Petraitis, determined that Green's foul on Clarke was worthy of a Flagrant 2 penalty, resulting in the ejection of the Warriors' star forward.
After the game, The Commercial Appeal's Damichael Cole was assigned as the Pool Reporter and asked Fitzgerald about Green's ejection.
QUESTION: "Why was Draymond Green’s ejection deemed a flagrant two foul?"
FITZGERALD: "Because the contact in total was considered unnecessary and excessive which leads to a flagrant foul penalty two and ejection."
QUESTION: "What did you see that made the call a flagrant two instead of a flagrant one?"
FITZGERALD: "Well, there’s a couple things. The first part was the wind-up and significant contact to the face, and then the pull down from the jersey grab and throw down to the floor to an airborne vulnerable player makes that unnecessary and excessive. That’s what led to the flagrant foul penalty two."
Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted after the game that he and his players were angry about the decision to eject Green, but they were determined to win the game even without their heart and soul.
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Unless the NBA reduced Green's penalty to a Flagrant 1, he now has to be careful the rest of the postseason because another Flagrant 2 foul would result in a one-game suspension.
But for now, Green and the Warriors are enjoying their Game 1 win and are preparing for Game 2 on Tuesday night in Memphis.