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Draymond Green: Technical foul vs. Hornets bothers me more than 2016 NBA Finals suspension

Warriors forward Draymond Green vs. Hornets

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 20: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors reacts following a call during the fourth quarter of their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on February 20, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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Draymond Green blamed himself for the Warriors losing the 2016 NBA Finals.

With Golden State up 3-1 on the Cavaliers, Green got suspended for committing too many flagrant fouls during the playoffs (the last of which was for hitting LeBron James in the groin). The Warriors lost Game 5 without Green then let the series get away from them.

That episode returned to the forefront Saturday.

Golden State led the Hornets by two points 9.3 seconds left when Green got two technical fouls. Charlotte guard Terry Rozier made both technical free throws then hit the game-winner.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic:


I was dead-ass wrong. And not that I was wrong, like I said, for the first tech per se. But once – whatever that situation is – once I had the first tech, I can’t get the second tech.

And so I was a bit disappointed – I’m still a bit disappointed – in myself, because I think that whole situation bothered me. I know for sure it did. It bothered me more than being suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals in 2016. And the reason that it bothered me more than that is because – you can have your thoughts on the Game 5 situation. I for sure have my thoughts on the situation. But this situation in particular, I had complete control over it. And I let that control get away from me, and in turn, I let the game get away from myself and my teammates.

Winning an NBA game is not easy. And this young team has not had – the guys on this team has not had much experience with winning. And so to take the game away from my teammates – which they worked so hard for – was a bit frustrating for me, because I let them down.

Another reason it was a bit frustrating for me when I think of the whole entire picture of all of this: If you typed in “Draymond Green” before … Saturday, the first clip you’ll see is me talking about the Drummond situation. And so to go from that situation to what the next thing would be of you see of me, it’s like two completely totally different ends of the spectrum. And that’s where the disappointment for me lies. In kind of just letting my emotions get the best of me and going from one of the most powerful statements in NBA history to that is embarrassing.

I can admit my faults and when I’m wrong, and I was wrong. Now, I have to do what I have to do to make that up to my teammates.

Like I told the guys, I appreciate the support of me. But that action does not warrant support.

It’s commendable Green took responsibility for his error. Most importantly, he pledged to make up for it going forward. In time, he’ll have to back that up with action. But right now, he can only say that right things, and he’s doing that.

Green plays on emotion. That usually helps the Warriors. Occasionally, it bites them. He can’t completely change without undercutting part of what makes him special.

But, as he emphasized, he’s now 30. He should do better than he did Saturday.

Still, it’s hard to come down hard on Green considering he’s already being hard (and fair) on himself.

If there’s anything to criticize him for at this point, it’s calling his comments on Andre Drummond “one of the most powerful statements in NBA history.” Green raised some good points on a double standard for how teams and players treated depending on which side wants a trade. There ought to be more consideration for what’s best for a player and less blind deference to the team. However, it’s worth keeping perspective that the NBA’s trade system was negotiated between the owners and players’ union. If Green and other players want more control over their situations, they could probably get it by surrendering something in Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations (like money). It was also silly of Green to conflate his tampering fine with teams expressing dismay with their own players/players expressing dismay with their own teams.