The NBA is coming under fire for its explanation of a pair of technical fouls issued against Draymond Green in the final seconds of Saturday’s game, calls that cost the Golden State Warriors a potential win over the Charlotte Hornets.
Green was hit with a pair of technicals while arguing a call with 9.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Warriors leading 100-98. After a jump ball, Hornets swingman Gordon Hayward fell to the floor to grab the loose ball and Green quickly jumped onto the floor to tie him up, but referees awarded a timeout to the Hornets.
Green argued with referees and was hit with a pair of quick technical fouls, leading to his ejection and allowing the Hornets to sink a pair of free throws to tie the game. Hornets guard Terry Rozier then hit a contested shot from the left wing at the buzzer to win the game, 102-100.
NBA Offers Explanation for Calls
The league put out a statement on the incident after the game on Saturday, citing a postgame interview from crew chief Marc Davis. He explained that the first technical was given because Green was “verbally taunting an opponent,” while the second was given for “screaming profanity at a game official.”
Davis also explained that Hayward had clear possession of the ball at the time Charlotte’s P.J. Washington called a timeout, via ESPN senior NBA writer Marc Spears.
But the explanation came under fire, with many finding it inappropriate for referees to call not one but two technical fouls so late in the game.
“Unless Draymond did something physical towards the ref (he didn’t), or used a slur (which we don’t know), you just cannot call a tech, let alone two, with 9 seconds left in a one possession game,” SB Nation’s Warriors beat writer Brady Klopfer tweeted. “You just cannot. Again: doesn’t absolve Dray. Stupid play. But no.”
Others disagreed with the league’s explanation that the Hornets had possession, believing that Green had tied it up before the timeout call.
Steve Kerr Says Green Crossed the Line
Warriors coach Steve Kerr put the blame on Green for losing his cool in the critical situation.
“He crossed the line,” Kerr said during his postgame press conference, via ESPN. “That’s the main thing. We love his passion and his energy. We would not be the team we are without him, but that doesn’t give him license to cross that line, and he knows that.”
Kerr said he wasn’t pleased with the sequence, saying he was trying to call a timeout before the initial jump ball had taken place and believed Brad Wanamaker still had clear possession. Kerr was frustrated that he was not awarded a timeout, but the Hornets were just seconds later.
“So given that the exact same thing happened back to back, only we actually had possession of the ball when I tried to call timeout,” Kerr said. “And then watching the replay after the game, it’s a loose ball, the ball’s actually bouncing on the floor, Draymond dives after it; in my estimation, it should be another jump ball.”
Kerr added that he wasn’t able to get a full explanation of the technical fouls at the time as he was focused on checking in Juan Toscano-Anderson to replace the ejected Green.
The Warriors coach appeared to be frustrated with the sequence. Cameras caught him kicking the ball after it bounced his way following Rozier’s game-winning shot.