SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Draymond Green is certain this is far from his last suspension, and he had some strong words for the NBA trying to make him an example of suspensions based on past behavior.
The Golden State forward is set to return for the Warriors in Sunday’s Game 4 against the Sacramento Kings with his team trailing 2-1 in the best-of-seven series after serving a one-game suspension during the defending champions’ 114-97 Game 3 victory Thursday night.
“Them (s——) don’t work,” Green said Saturday of any special rules for him. “Here I am, still sitting here, still winning. They created those rules before, they didn’t work, they still don’t work. Maybe they did but Draymond won’t be moved by no Draymond rules. I will continue to play the game how I play the game, operate how I operate, be exactly who I am, because that leads to winning.”
In the fourth quarter of the Kings’ 114-106 Game 2 win Monday night, Green stepped on the chest of Sacramento center Domantas Sabonis after Stephen Curry grabbed a defensive rebound.
With the Warriors pushing the ball up court and Sabonis on the ground, Green took a hard step on Sabonis, who stayed down for several minutes as officials reviewed the play.
Sabonis was called for a technical foul for grabbing Green’s leg, and Green was given a flagrant 2 foul that led to an automatic ejection.
Golden State shined in Green’s absence the next game, though Curry made clear his disappointment with the NBA’s position and noted how it took everyone responding — saying “how bad of a decision I think they made on suspending him first and foremost and you’re frustrated with that but you also have to understand, I know Bob (Myers) said it up here yesterday, we have a job to do and there’s nothing we could do about it.”
While explaining the discipline, announced by executive vice president and head of basketball operations Joe Dumars, the NBA noted “the suspension was based in part on Green’s history of unsportsmanlike acts.”
76ers coach Doc Rivers expressed his disagreement with it: “I didn’t think Draymond should’ve gotten suspended and I think the league is setting up a very dangerous precedent right now.”
“My feelings about it is irrelevant. My sentiments on it is that I strongly agree with Doc Rivers,” Green said. “I think he said it better than anybody could have said it, but as far as being suspended or the game goes, we won. So anything that happened around that or how I felt or how anyone felt, we channeled it the right way. You channel that energy the right way, I think that’s the most important thing.”
In 2016, Green was suspended for a crucial Game 5 loss to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals after accumulating too many flagrant fouls in the playoffs that season. The Warriors wound up losing in seven.
He can’t compare the two.
“It’s a different feeling, 2016 we were up 3-1, so whether you lose that game or not you have more,” Green said. “Being down 2-0 you have more whether you lose or not, but it’s different. So I think for us being in a totally different position. Being in a dog fight and not being able to participate, that’s tough, not from the suspension. I’ve been suspended from Game 5 of the NBA Finals. There’s never a suspension that would bother me. There’s no game that could compare to that, so as far as my personal feeling about a suspension it’s neither here nor there. It doesn’t move me one way or another. ... I’ll get suspended again at some point.”
Now, Green is eager to move forward, get back on the court and keep Golen State going.
“As long as they create Draymond rules that means we’re winning,” he said, “and that’s great, they can create as many Draymond rules as they want, that’s beautiful. It doesn’t change Draymond.”