In an interview on the new Checc’n In podcast, the NBA’s greatest podcaster, Draymond Green, took the blame for his suspension that cost the Golden State Warriors the 2016 championship. But he also contended that he’d hit LeBron again - he just wouldn’t accumulate enough flagrant foul and technical points for it to lead to a suspension.
When Eugene “Big U” Henley (from “Hip Hop Uncovered” and Uneek Music) asked Draymond about being suspended from Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals, Green didn’t hesitate.
Draymond on his Game 5 suspension in 2016 NBA Finals:— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) September 18, 2022
“I cost us a championship. I’m fine with that. I can take that on the chin, no problem. I own up to my mistakes. ‘Would I do it again? One thousand percent’.”
(via Checc’n In, https://t.co/0elYkrDpZb) pic.twitter.com/F7NzuelEvY
If I get to that point again and you step over me, I’m going to try to hit you again. But I wouldn’t be in the same position with flagrant amount of points, with the amount of techs to where I leave that decision in someone else’s hands.
Draymond does seem to have the ability to limit himself right of the verge of too many technicals. Last year he got 14 technicals in his 46 games - 16 techs means an automatic suspension - and one was rescinded by the league. 14 technicals is what he got the last three seasons, and he’s also had seasons of 15 technicals. Only in 2018-19 did he push it too far and get a 16th T, which meant a one-game suspension. Even in the playoffs this year, he accumulated four technicals - seven means a suspension - and two flagrant points, where three flagrant points earns a suspension.
Look, it was a bad decision by Draymond in 2016, but if you look at the play - which wasn’t called any kind of foul at all live - it really doesn’t seem suspension-worthy.
Poor Evan Mobley of the Cavaliers caught strays during the podcast, as Draymond explained the different rules for him.
There’s Draymond Green rules. There’s 100 percent Draymond Green rules. Evan Mobley did the same exact thing and kicked LeBron in the head, ain’t nobody talking about wanting to kick him out, ain’t nobody talking like it was on purpose.
Beyond relitigating a playoff series from six years ago, Green discussed how shocked the Warriors were by Steve Kerr’s offense, when he arrived in 2014-15. Mark Jackson’s offense depended greatly on hunting mismatches, with a generous amount of pindowns and pick-and-roll. Honestly, that was most of the NBA in 2014. So when the team arrived for training camp, Green said the Dubs were baffled:
We all thought he was out of his mind. And then as we started to do it, then you figure it out and you like, ‘Yo, this is actually pretty incredible.’ Like, it’s ball moving, ball moving. Ball moving. Screen roll, it’s ball moving, ball moving. ball moving. There goes the mismatch, but nobody’s really standing. And that’s kind of where all this flow offense and all this stuff came.
The Warriors went from 10th in the league in points per game in 2013-14 to first in 2014-15, a spot they held until 2018-19, when they dropped all the way to second place. While many Warriors fans have railed about Kerr’s unwillingness to call for more pick-and-rolls, your humble author included, it’s clear that the team’s focus on “flow” has set them apart from the rest of the NBA. Green thinks it’s the main reason Kevin Durant wanted to join up, regardless of what happened in the 2016 playoffs. He and the Dubs both blew 3-1 leads, but Draymond thinks he wanted to come to Golden State regardless.
Is the Steve Kerr offense special? Yes. Are we going to hear about Kevin Durant potentially returning to the Warriors until he retires? Also yes.