Draymond Green says his flagrant foul on LeBron James cost Warriors 2016 title, explains why he’d do it again

Sports are stuffed with what-ifs. They’re what make each sport, each quarter, each second so entertaining because the grasp of a championship trophy inches nearer and nearer. Just the opposite day, the most recent Cleveland Cavalier, Donavan Mitchell, was explaining on The Woj Pod how an eight-second violation he dedicated within the first sport of the first spherical of the 2020 playoffs within the bubble might need precipitated the breakup and impending rebuild of all the Utah Jazz franchise.

“Not to say we go forward and win a championship … however that, for me, was enormous once we misplaced,” Mitchell mentioned. “If I do not take my candy time strolling the ball up the ground and we win that sport, what does that appear like? What does the following season appear like? What does the following season appear like? There’s all the time these ifs, ands , and however you may play.”

Yes, particularly in gamers’ minds, each second issues.

One that is gotten a bit extra consideration in NBA circles, and that is been nightmarishly replayed within the heads of Golden State Warriors followers for years, is when Draymond Green dedicated a flagrant foul on LeBron James in Game 4 of the 2016 NBA Finals. Green and James acquired twisted up at half-court and James tried to step over Green to get again into the play, whereas Green’s arm flew up into James’ groin space.

No foul was known as on the play, however the league retroactively issued a flagrant foul for Green, together with a technical for James. The violation resulted in Green’s fourth flagrant foul level of the postseason, which triggered an computerized suspension for Game 5.

Golden State was coming off the most effective common season in NBA historical past and seemed to be nicely on its method to a second-straight title, however Cleveland was capable of win Game 5 in Green’s absence — the primary of three straight wins for the Cavaliers, who famously got here again from a 3-1 deficit to win the franchise’s first NBA championship.

Green revisited the play lately on the “Checc’n In” podcast (h/t NBC Sports Bay Area) and took full duty for his actions. He even went so far as to agree with many basketball followers across the globe in saying that had he not been suspended, the Warriors would have gained the title that season. Somewhat surprisingly, nevertheless, Green additionally mentioned that if he needed to do it over again, he would not change his response.

“I take that on the chin. I cost us a championship. I’m effective with that. I can take that on the chin. No downside. I come clean with my errors,” Green mentioned. “Would I do it again? One thousand %. If someone tries to step over me, I’m going to hit them.”

Green then defined why his regrets stem from incidents in earlier video games somewhat than the altercation with James.

“What I would not do again is, I would not enable myself to be within the place the place somebody could make that call and cost me,” Green mentioned. “And so guess what? If I get to that time again and also you step over me, I’m going to attempt to hit you again. But I would not be in the identical place with a flagrant quantity of factors, with the quantity of techs to the place I go away that call in another person’s arms.”

Throughout his profession, Green has walked the effective line with his depth — attempting to push issues so far as he can with opponents, officers and generally teammates, with out shedding management. Warriors coach Steve Kerr has talked in regards to the significance of that stability, and the way Green usually is aware of when to again off when he is in peril of costing his group helpful factors or, even worse, being suspended.

Even with six years of reflection, Green clearly nonetheless feels that James attempting to step over him was disrespectful, and warranted the retribution he delivered.

It’s straightforward for Green to say he should not have been in that place within the first place, however the one manner to make sure that he will not be in these conditions is to vary the very fiber of his being, and everyone knows that is not going to occur. After all, it’s gotten him 4 championships and a probable Hall of Fame resume. So so long as Green’s on the court docket, the Warriors — or whichever group he finally ends up taking part in for down the highway — are going to must reside with the occasional suspension, and hope that the positives proceed to outweigh the negatives.

If we’re speaking about what-ifs, nevertheless, the Warriors doubtless do not signal Kevin Durant the summer time after the 2016 Finals in the event that they win the title, and maybe they do not win championships in 2017 and 2018 with out him. So some may say that Green’s suspension finally benefited the Warriors franchise. That’s why it’s normally a nasty concept to play the what-if sport — if we get slowed down within the butterfly results, we’ll drive ourselves to the purpose of madness.

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