Adrian WojnarowskiVeteran NBA Insider4 minutes of reading
NBA executive vice president and president of basketball operations Joe Dumars said Draymond Green’s “excessive and excessive actions” and his history as a “repeat offender” played a major role in the league’s decision to suspend him in Game 3 of the Golden State Warriors’ Western Conference first-round series against the Sacramento Kings.
“What it came down to was: excessive and excessive actions, harmful behavior and repeat offenders,” Dumars told ESPN in a phone interview Wednesday morning. “That’s what separates this where you end up with a suspension.”
The NBA suspended Green after he stepped hard on Domantas Sabonis’ chest in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, forcing him out of the Warriors’ Game 2 loss.
Green’s history — including 163 technical fouls, 17 ejections and now four suspensions — played a significant role in the outcome.
Asked about the gravity of the circumstances surrounding the decision — the Warriors trailed 2-0 in the best-of-seven series to the Kings — Dumars told ESPN: “You know what the situation is, but you have to put it aside. Look at the facts in front of you. … Repeat offender. Heavier than anything.”
Asked if the league would have handed down the punishment differently if Green had been a player with no history of on-court violations, Dumars told ESPN: “It could have happened, but the action could have been viewed more aggressively — stomping on a guy’s chest. On the back end of this action, a repeat offender.” You add, that’s how you get suspended.”
Dumars acknowledged that Green’s behavior after his ejection — a short-lived scandal and further inciting Sacramento fans — was a factor, but acknowledged that those actions alone would not have prompted league office talk of further punishment. . NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was courtside for the game and witnessed the entire episode.
“That’s not what he needed to do,” Dumars said. “No help.”
League investigators interviewed Green and Sabonis on Tuesday and shared a statement with Dumars, who is the league’s head of disciplinary decision-making.
After Sabonis lost his footing and fell into the painted area, he grabbed Green’s right leg. Green was the first to break free of Sabonis’s grip, before landing a hard step on Sabonis’ chest. Sabonis was down for several minutes, and tests eventually revealed a bruised sternum.
Asked if Sabonis’ apparent injury played a role in the performance, Dumars told ESPN: “It plays a role — you don’t ignore it.”
Sabonis was called for a technical foul for grabbing Green’s leg, and Green was given a flagrant foul 2, resulting in an automatic ejection.
“Saponis is penalized on the play for a technical foul, and Golden State gets the free throw,” Dumars said. “It’s not like that [Sabonis] No one gets away with impunity, but we don’t think it rises to the level of excessive and excessive, harmful and repeat offender. That’s why you separate those two and do one act on the court – and then another act.