Per an announcement from the NBA on Tuesday night, Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has been suspended without pay for Game 3 of his team’s first-round playoff series against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday as punishment for stepping on the chest of All-Star center Domantas Sabonis.
The incident occurred at the 7:03 mark of the fourth quarter during the Kings’ 114-106 win over the Warriors in Game 2 at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. On the play in question, Sabonis collided with Klay Thompson while attempting to collect a rebound and ended up on the court near Green’s feet as a result.
After Sabonis grabbed Green by the ankle, the Warriors pivot responded by stomping on him.
Green received a flagrant foul two for his actions and was promptly ejected from the contest. Sabonis, meanwhile, was assessed a technical foul.
Warriors Star Draymond Green Defended His Actions After Stomping on Domantas Sabonis During Game 2 vs Kings
Following the Dubs’ Game 2 loss, Green attempted to justify his actions during his postgame media availability, citing the grab and an inability to physically clear Sabonis’ body with his foot as he tried to run back on offense.
“My leg got grabbed. Second time in two nights. Referees just watch it,” Green told reporters, via The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “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… It was [Malik] Monk last game, right on the baseline under the rim…
“I guess ankle grabbing is OK.”
Regarding his back and forth with the crowd at Golden 1 Center in the immediate aftermath of the incident, Green said: “I was just having fun. It’s a fun game, fun atmosphere to play in. So, it’s fun.”
Green finished the game with eight points on 3-of-6 shooting, five assists, four rebounds and a steal in 31 minutes of action. He also committed five fouls and racked up five turnovers.
Warriors in New Territory Following Latest Loss to the Kings
Green’s team enters Thursday’s contest in San Francisco in a position they haven’t been in for 16 years. Specifically, an 0-2 series deficit — the last time the team was in such a spot was during the 2007 Western Conference semifinal against Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer and the Utah Jazz.
Baron Davis’ “We Believe” crew would ultimately lose that series four games to one, but that’s not the only history seemingly working against the current Warriors. All four of the previous defending champions to go down 0-2 in a first-round matchup ended up losing the series, and three of those series losses came in the form of a sweep.
And while the Dubs — who have struggled on the road throughout the 2022-23 campaign — should get a boost in their return to Chase Center, Green’s suspension could be difficult to overcome. The club was just 3-6 in games that Green missed this season.
His suspension during Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers arguably cost his team a title that year.