Report: NBA won’t force Draymond Green to miss celebration if Warriors win
The NBA is seeking something similar.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:
Suspended player is banned from arena, but league still working through postgame details. Won't force Green to miss celebration if Ws win.— Ken Berger (@KBergNBA) June 12, 2016
Other rules could come into play, though. What if Green attends the game planning to pay the $2,000 fine? Would the NBA just allow him to sit on the bench for the entire game, or might the league tell him to leave? And if he’s told to leave, would he breaking another rule and subject to more punishment?
c. Any club personnel not seated on the bench must conduct themselves in a manner that would reflect favorably on the dignity of the game and the officials. Violations by any of the personnel indicated shall require a written report to the League Office for subsequent action.
d. The bench shall be occupied only by a league-approved head coach, a maximum of three assistant coaches, players and trainer.
If he’s not on the bench, C would apply. A player explicitly banned from the arena going to the arena probably isn’t conducting himself in a manner that would reflect favorably on the dignity of the game and the officials.
If he’s on the bench, D would apply. “League-approved” is a dangling modifier, but if refers to players, Green certainly isn’t league-approved tonight.
So, if he breaks the rules by attending and an official ejects him, then what?
The larger fine becomes more problematic, but “forfeiture” is the big word. The Warriors obviously don’t want to mess around with that.
My three-step plan for how the NBA should handle this:
1. Quietly encourage Green to attend the game.
Assure him he wouldn’t be asked to leave or face additional punishment beyond a $2,000 fine. Avoid the awkwardness of a potential Finals MVP missing the ceremony, and don’t rob a player of the opportunity to celebrate a championship.
2. Fine Green $2,000.
It’d be good for his image – especially if the Warriors win. He sells himself as Golden State’s emotional leader, and he can contribute without playing. He’s also developing an image as someone who pushes the line. This is all marketable. He can sell himself as too passionate for the NBA’s sensibilities the same way the league fining Michael Jordan for wearing banned Air Jordans boosted his popularity.
The league shouldn’t give Green any special treatment, and it’d be better for both sides to avoid it. I don’t know when “after” a game ends, but I’m confident that a suspended player entering the locker room before his teammates left after a game – let alone going on the court before it’s vacated – would violate this rule in the regular season. Don’t excuse Green just because Golden State won a championship. The rule isn’t dependent on game importance.
3. Re-write the rule with more clarity this offseason.
Define what “after” means. Include any desired exceptions. Maybe even lift the ban on suspending players being at the arena all together. Is it really harmful for suspended players to cheer on their teammates in person?