Draymond Green fined but not suspended for kick to groin

ByMarc Stein ESPN logo
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The NBA elected not to suspend Golden State Warriors forwardDraymond Green for his kick to the groin area of Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adamsin Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Sunday.

Green's foul was upgraded from a flagrant foul 1 to a flagrant foul 2, with a $25,000 fine attached, but the league has decided not to issue a suspension.

Green now has three flagrant foul points this postseason. One more would result in an automatic suspension.

Green and Golden State coach Steve Kerr had been lobbying for the flagrant foul to be rescinded, insisting the kick was unintentional.

"Draymond's going to have to be very careful," Kerr said. "One flagrant 1 and he's suspended. ... He's got to understand the circumstances, which he does."

Though Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA's executive vice president of basketball operations, said in a statement that Green's actions were "unnecessary and excessive and warranted the upgrade and fine," he seemed to agree with Green's explanation that he was exaggerating his shooting motion.

"During a game, players -- at times -- flail their legs in an attempt to draw a foul," VanDeWeghe said, "but Green's actions in this case warranted an additional penalty."

Green was adamant Monday that NBA official Scott Foster told him that he believed the contact was incidental.

"I said, 'Scott, how am I getting a flagrant because my leg went in the air trying to follow through on a shot?' He said, 'Draymond, I'm not saying it's intentional. Honestly, I don't think it was intentional at all. But you caught him in the groin area, so I have to give you a flagrant,'" Green said. "I didn't argue it. I said, 'OK, that's understandable.'"

Adams said the incident looked even more intentional to him when he saw video of the play.

"Yeah, [it was worse] from what I had in my mind," Adams said Monday. "Kind of confirmed it almost."

At Tuesday's shootaround, Green deflected talk about the NBA ruling.

"That's a great question," Green replied to repeated inquiries.

"He's got to take advantage of the moment," MVP Stephen Curry said. "That's all that matters. None of the chatter matters."

Green was his typical chatty self when asked about Game 4.

"This is an exciting game," Green said. "We're down 2-1 and we know what it takes to win a game of this magnitude on the road. Obviously different foe, completely different team, team that's playing well, but that doesn't change what we do. We have to come out and focus on us. I think when we focus on us, as opposed to worrying about what anybody else has got going on, that's when we are at our best. Tonight it's about us."

ESPN's Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.

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