The Golden State Warriors’ collective focus is squarely on evening their heated first-round series with the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. And as he returns from suspension for a pivotal Game 4, don’t expect Draymond Green to comport himself any differently than normal.
Speaking with reporters on Saturday for the first time since being ejected from his team’s Game 2 loss to Sacramento for stomping on Domantas Sabonis’ chest, Green was asked if the NBA created “Draymond rules” to justify his subsequent suspension by appealing to his history of unsportsmanlike acts.
Let’s just say Golden State’s loudmouth emotional leader didn’t exactly disagree, defiantly stating the league singling Green out won’t change how he plays going forward.
“They created ‘Draymond rules’ before, them s**ts don’t work. Here I am, still sitting here, stilling winning. They created those rules before. They didn’t work. They still don’t work. So, maybe they did [create them],” Green said. “But Draymond won’t be moved by no ‘Draymond rules.’ I will continue to play the game how I play the game, operate how I operate, be exactly who I am because that leads to winning. If I was losing they wouldn’t be creating Draymond rules, so as long as they’re creating ‘Draymond rules’ that means we’re winning.”
After officially announcing the suspension, Joe Dumars, the Detroit Pistons legend turned NBA executive vice president who happens to be a childhood mentor of Green’s, confirmed the league took Green’s “repeat offender” status into consideration while making the decision to bar him from Game 3.
“Here’s what it came down to: Excessive and over-the-top actions, conduct detrimental and a repeat offender,” Dumars said in an interview with ESPN. “That’s what separates this where you end up with a suspension.”
Green’s suspension and Dumar’s comments came one day before Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid kicked Nic Claxton, just missing the Brooklyn Nets big man’s groin, early in his team’s Game 3 victory. Not unlike Green’s stomp was provoked by Sabonis grabbing his ankle, Embiid’s kick was prompted by Claxton stepping over him following an alley-oop dunk.
Embiid wasn’t ejected from the game, however, let alone later suspended, throwing Warriors partisans and other league followers into hysterics about a much harsher punishment for Green. Is that difference the so-called ‘Draymond rules’ in effect?
Green sure seems to think so. Regardless, more fully aware than ever of the NBA’s extra watchful eye on him, Green won’t be changing for Sunday’s crucial Game 4 or beyond.
“They can create as many ‘Draymond rules’ as they want. That’s beautiful,” he said. “But it doesn’t change Draymond, so it is what it is.”
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