OAKLAND – The NBA brought down the hammer Sunday, suspending Warriors forward Draymond Green for Monday’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The league made the announcement, assessing Green with a Flagrant-1 foul for a right-handed swipe to the groin of Cavs star LeBron James after James had flung Green to the floor and stepped over him in the fourth quarter of Game 4.
No foul was called on that play, which occurred right in front of lead official Danny Crawford, but Kiki Vandeweghe deemed Green’s actions worthy of a Flagrant-1, his fourth such foul during these playoffs, prompting an automatic suspension.
Six seconds after the initial incident, Green and James tangled underneath the basket, for which both players were assessed personal fouls, resulting in a jump ball with 2:42 left in the game, a 108-97 victory by the Warriors.
The Warriors hold a 3-1 edge in the series and can oust the Cavs with a win Monday night at Oracle Arena. Green will not be allowed inside the arena for the game.
James, who immediately after Game 4 lobbied for a suspension, will receive a technical foul for his part in the incident.
Here is the text of the memo sent by the NBA:
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been assessed a Flagrant Foul 1 upon league office review, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
In accordance with NBA rules, Green will serve a one-game suspension without pay for accruing his fourth Flagrant Foul point of the 2016 postseason. He will serve his suspension Monday, June 13 during Game 5 of The Finals at Oracle Arena.
The incident occurred when Green made unnecessary contact with a retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James with 2:48 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' 108-97 win in Game 4 of The Finals at Quicken Loans Arena.
Under league rules, any player who accumulates four flagrant foul points over the course of the playoffs will be automatically suspended for one game, and every additional flagrant foul will result in either a one-game suspension (for a Flagrant Foul 1) or a two-game suspension (for a Flagrant Foul 2).
"The cumulative points system is designed to deter flagrant fouls in our game," said VanDeWeghe. "While Draymond Green's actions in Game 4 do not merit a suspension as a standalone act, the number of flagrant points he has earned triggers a suspension for Game 5."