Draymond Green suspension: 50 Cent, plus Shaquille O’Neal and other NBA stars react to controversial moment

draymond usatsi

draymond usatsi

The Golden State Warriors are down 0-2 in the playoffs for the first time in the Steph Curry/Splash Brothers era, and making things worse is they’ll be without their emotional leader Draymond Green for Game 3 against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night. 

Green was ejected in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ Game 2 loss to the Kings for stomping on the chest of Domantas Sabonis during an incident that started when the Kings big man grabbed Green’s leg. In the aftermath, Green taunted the crowd and had no remorse during his press conference, all of which led to him the NBA suspending him for Game 3

While Sabonis described the indcident as “playoff basketball,” Green was more vocal. 

“My leg got grabbed, second time in two nights,” Green said. “Refrees just watch it. I gotta land my foot somewhere, and I’m not the most flexible person so it’s not stretching that far. I can only step so far and pulling my leg away, so it is what it is. 

“The explanation was I stomped too hard.”

The controversial incident led to many interesting reactions from players and coaches involved in the game, as well as current and former stars from around the league. There were even some entertainers sharing their opinon on a moment that may change the course of the playoffs. 

Here’s a look at what people have had to say:

50 Cent saw it live

The Grammy Award-winning rapper was sitting courtside during Game 2, but not because he recently jumped on the bandwagon. He signed a multi-year partnership with the Kings last summer, and has even previously lit the beam. On Instagram, he shared his experience:

“Said @money23green, what the fvck you do that for? He said 50 im a big stepper, I’m out here steppin on s— it’s the playoffs. i was sitting there looking like [wide-eyed emoji] oh s—!”

Lillard comes to Green’s defense

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard is a frequent Tweeter and weighed in immediately. He joked that it should have been a take foul on Sabonis and said that he didn’t believe Green stepped on the Kings forward intentionally. Lillard later added that suspending Green was “crazy.” 

So does Shaq

“I’m not gonna sit up here and be a hypocrite. I would have done the same thing [as Green], O’Neal said on “Inside the NBA” when the panel discussed the incident. O’Neal was the only one of the four who didn’t have a problem with what Green did. Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith were all in agreement that Green’s actions weren’t acceptable. 

“Don’t be grabbing me, because what am I gonna do?” O’Neal continued. “If I stay there and just try to run forward, I’ll fall. You gotta get him up off you. And if you up off me and you in the way, you might get stomped on. Was it a dirty play? Of course it was a dirty play. But, hey, don’t grab me and this won’t happen.”

… and Charles Oakley too

Charles Oakley was one of the toughest players in the NBA, and he got into his fair share of confrontations over his 19-year career. So perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Oakley was willing to give Green the benefit of the doubt. 

“I think Draymond [Green] was trying to protect himself,” Oakley said. “I feel sorry for the Warriors, who are missing the guy who anchors their team in a lot of ways. … I guess when he comes back from the suspension, he’s got to be careful. It’s a tricky situation for Draymond, but he’s got to realize he means a lot to his team. … I’ve been hit in the face. Sometimes you gotta take the hit and if they do it twice, you gotta protect yourself more.”

Perkins shares his experience

Kendrick Perkins was another tough customer and knows what it’s like to be suspended for an in-game incident. He shared his thoughts on the Green situation from the perspective of someone who has been there before. 

“As a guy that was on that side where Drayond is at, a guy that actually got suspeneded for making face-to-face contact with Tyreke Evans — not headbutting, face-to-face contact,” Perkins said. “When you have those conversations on the phone, when you call in to the principal’s office, they’re gonna see if you’re remorseful, they’re gonna see if you’re apologetic about it. And if you’re not, and you have a history, they’re gonna issue a significant punishment. It happens.

“Do I want Draymond suspended? No. Does he deserve to be suspended? Yes. You cannot leapfrog off of somebody’s chest and think it’s cool. The leapfrog off Sabonis was one thing, but then the actions after that to the fanbase was another thing, and then when he went in his postgame interview, he wasn’t remorseful. The league looks at all of that.”

Johnson questions Green’s judgement

Former Sixth Man of the Year Eddie Johnson, who played 17 seasons in the league and now works as a radio host, didn’t understand what Green was thinking. He also noted the mistake of making a move like that when NBA commissioner Adam Silver was in attendance. 

Kerr ‘surprised’ by suspension

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said during his postgame press conference that he didn’t see the play live and was focused on preparing his team to keep playing so he couldn’t comment. 

“I didn’t see the play live, and then I didn’t see the replay,” Kerr said. “I asked [referee] Zach Zarba, he told me. I was busy with getting the team ready. One of the coaches told me he might get ejected, so I was trying to prepare for what was next.” 

Once he did see it, though, he did he was “surprised” that Green was suspended. 

“There’s no time to spend worrying about it, thinking about it or complaining. It doesn’t matter,” Kerr said. “We know what the league decided to do and we have to respond accordingly. … We just have to move on, and move on to the game. I’ll let everybody else play judge.”

Sabonis shrugs it off

Sabonis surely wasn’t happy about getting stomped on, but he refused to add any feul to the fire during his on-court interview after the win. This was a veteran move by Sabonis to avoid creating any billboard material for the Warriors heading into Games 3 and 4 in San Francisco. 

“It’s playoff basketball,” Sabonis said. “Look at the fans, this is it. We’re here to fight. Every time we step on the floor we’re gonna give everything for our teammates and the franchise. We’re both fighting for the rebound. We fell on each other, stuff happens, it’s basketball, we gotta move on, next play.”

Brown defends his player

In perhaps the least surprising reaction, Kings head coach Mike Brown had no doubt in his mind that Green deserved to be ejected for the stomp. He also questioned if there should be an additional punishment handed down by the league. 

“It’s a Flagrant 2 for sure, and it will be interesting to see what the NBA does after they review it … It was a pretty hard stomp.” 

Thompson takes the middle path

Warriors guard Klay Thompson would not fully defend Green, but he also wondered what his teammate was supposed to do in the situation. (For the record, Green was not running at full speed when Sabonis first grabbed his leg; he was standing still.)

“What are you gonna to do someone grabs your foot at full when you’re running full speed?” Thompson said. “That’s not cool. I’m not saying what Draymond did was right but you can’t just grab somebody’s foot taking off in a full sprint.”

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Publish Date:2023-04-21 04:19:54

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