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Domantas Sabonis dodges Handshake Gate questions

Noted gentleman Draymond Green was absolutely shocked that the Kings center didn’t shake hands after Game 7. He might have to invite Sabonis on his podcast to get an explanation.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings
Draymond Green lectures Domantas Sabonis on etiquette.
Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Draymond Green scored just six points in the Golden State Warriors’ Game 1 loss to the Lakers. Probably because he’s still upset about Domantas Sabonis and his poor sportsmanship.

Green took issue with Sabonis’ behavior at the end of the Warriors’ Game 7 win over the Sacramento Kings, when Sabonis walked off the court without shaking hands with or congratulating the Warriors. And Green aired his complaints on, where else, “The Draymond Green Show.”

Green recounted a time when he left the court without shaking hands: Game 7 of the 2016 Finals. After going to the locker room, Green returned and “showed everybody love.” Because that’s what you do when you lose! You shake hands, you say “Good game” and then you walk into the parking lot, call Kevin Durant, and beg him to come sign with your team. That’s just basic sportsmanship.

Sabonis seemed surprised to be asked about Handshake Gate, and basically said he had no idea what he was doing. Our theory is that he was afraid he’d go to congratulate the Warriors, and Kevon Looney would be right next to him, snatching all the handshakes away from him. Or, the Warriors would all back off of Sabonis, just daring him to complete a handshake from distance, and ruining the handshake spacing for De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. Or that Draymond would grab his arm and body slam him.

While Steph Curry won the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award after the 2010-11 season, Green has shockingly never won, or even been a finalist, probably because of the ridiculous “No stomping” clause in the voting process. But it’s true that Green would never respect a player who walked off the court in the playoffs without shaking hands.

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