Two days ago, I watched Game 4 of the NBA finals and celebrated as the Warriors won and took a 3-1 series lead.
I also watched LeBron James push Draymond Green to the ground and then step over him. A small scuffle ensued, and a double foul was called.
So imagine my surprise when last night I found out that Draymond Green had been suspended from Game 5 for a flagrant 1.
My first reaction was ‘What?’ as I thought back and tried to figure out what could possibly have been construed as a flagrant. Thankfully, that’s what the news is for. Apparently, Draymond Green hit LeBron James in the crotch as LeBron James stepped over him.
And so my confusion led to anger because that was not a flagrant, and Draymond Green should not have been suspended, nor should he have been banned from watching the game at Oracle Arena. This belated call by the NBA is obviously an attempt to either prolong the series or appease their megastar (or both). At this point, LeBron James is throwing a temper tantrum because his team is losing to the obviously superior Warriors.
The evidence? First of all, LeBron quite clearly provoked Draymond. You don’t push a guy to the ground and then step over him without expecting a reaction, especially from Draymond who is known for having a temper. Second, LeBron called Draymond out for trash talking. Never mind that trash talking is part of the game, and that unless you bring family into it, it probably isn’t crossing the line (apparently the word Draymond used rhymes with witch, which is tame compared to some of the trash talking I’ve heard. That was the word I was using for middle school soccer games). And finally, that LeBron would lobby to the league for the suspension after LeBron provoked the foul is incredibly disrespectful. All Draymond did was swat at LeBron to get off him, but because LeBron is King, Draymond won’t be able to celebrate with his team tonight.
So what should the Warriors do to get back at the league?
The first step would be to win tonight. If the league really did suspend Draymond to prolong the series and make more money, winning tonight will make that pointless.
Next, the Warriors shouldn’t accept the trophy unless Draymond is there. The reports I heard yesterday all said that Draymond wasn’t allowed in the stadium to even celebrate with his team, and if the guy who should be series MVP isn’t there to celebrate his team’s achievement, his team should refuse to celebrate until he’s back.
There shouldn’t be any national media at the celebration. I’m selfish, so I want local media invited, but otherwise, no media. And if Draymond isn’t allowed to celebrate in the locker room, they can rent a room in a bar somewhere else.
Finally, Draymond should boycott the Olympics. If the league is going to disrespect him, why help it win respect?