None of the NBA’s top decision-makers spoke with Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green before the league handed him a one-game suspension for stomping on Sacramento Kings big man Domantas Sabonis, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. During an appearance on ESPN’s NBA Today on Wednesday, Shelburne said that people in the Warriors organization were confused by the league choosing not to speak to Green before handing down punishment.
“This is another thing that had been spoken about in Warriors circles last night and this morning,” Shelburne said. “There was an investigator who spoke to Draymond, but Joe Dumars just said he didn’t talk to Draymond until this morning after the decision was made. Usually, in a situation like this, other people would talk directly to Joe, talk directly to Adam Silver, or talk directly to high-level people when this decision is being made.”
Given the controversial nature of the decision, it seems like an added misstep by the league not to cross their t’s and dot their i’s throughout the process. With that said Green spoke about the incident following the game on Monday and basically admitted the act was intentional arguing that he had no choice since Sabonis had grabbed his ankle. Perhaps if he had denied his intent or admitted more remorse, the league would have been more compelled to talk to him before a final decision.
It’s clear the NBA was frustrated with Green once again forcing them to adjudicate a fine vs. suspension situation amidst the playoffs. While Green has been suspended in the playoffs before, it was only ever automatic suspension triggered by technical/flagrant foul points. In other instances, when Warriors opposition has asked the league to preemptively punish Green, they have decided in Golden State’s favor. Not this time.
Trailing 2-0 in their first-round series against the Kings, we’ll see if the Warriors can avoid a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 deficit in Game 3 tomorrow.