NBA VP Dumars on Green suspension: ‘Excessive and over-the-top actions... a repeat offender’
Adam Silver’s NBA has been slow to suspend players who were ejected but missed a significant portion of a game because of it, or in a case where another player’s actions instigated the issue.
Draymond Green did not get that benefit of the doubt, he was suspended for a critical Game 3 against the Grizzlies on Thursday night in a series where the Warriors are down 0-2. Green earned that suspension for stepping on the chest of Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis.
Why was Green suspended and not just fined? NBA Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operation Joe Dumars — the man with the hammer on suspension — said it was a difficult decision, but that Green’s history of other offenses led to the move.
“This was not some snap-of-the-finger decision to do this,” Dumars told the Associated Press. “There was much discussion, and back and forth, looking at the play itself over and over. And then ultimately we came to the decision that the act itself, and repeat offenses, actually did warrant a suspension.”
Dumars also explained the decision to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Green is a repeat offender, he has 17 ejections and three suspensions in his career before this incident in Game 2, most notably his suspension for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals after kicking LeBron James in the “groin.”
That history — and the fact Green turned full wrestling heel as referees debated the incident, egging on the Sacramento crowd, which included NBA Commissioner Adam Silver — had the league leaning into a suspension.
“The stuff that happened afterward, that doesn’t help the situation,” Dumars said. “But if it was just that alone, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I focused on the act itself, the fact that it’s a repeat offense, those were the two main things.”
Was the fact the Warriors are down 0-2 in the series factored into the decision?
Green getting suspended for this during the playoffs didn’t sit well with a number of other players and people around the league.
The Warriors have been a different team at home but now have to stop the best offense in the NBA without their best defender in the lineup. Game 3 is Thursday night at the Chase Center.