Reminder: Pro Basketball Is Not Like Your Job
Draymond Green, whose limbs have "accidentally" made forceful contact with his opponent's genitalia three times in the past month, will not play in Game 5 of the NBA Finals tonight. The NBA retroactively pinned Green with a flagrant-1 foul for the shenanigan you see below, his fourth such foul of the postseason. And in basketball, as the saying goes, it's four strikes and you're out.
The suspension injects some much-needed drama into what most assumed would be the final night of the NBA season. Green's Warriors, owners of a comfortable 3-1 series lead as they return to their home arena, will be without their leading rebounder, assist man, pass thief, and, uh, minutes-player as they attempt to repeat as champions and stake their claim as the best team in basketball history. Should Golden State win, Green will very likely join the celebration with a pro wrestling-style entrance from the nearby baseball stadium.
Every remotely controversial league decision since 1985 is viewed through the lens of conspiracy. Basketball is the only major sport where fans routinely claim the league is somehow rigged. They just want to squeeze more games out of the series, they crow. Draymond wouldn't be suspended if LeBron wasn't involved.
Best of all, the actions taken by two gigantic men playing a ball game in tank tops are likened to scenarios you encounter in your everyday life. Enter beloved Golden State backup point guard Shaun Livingston (via the New York Post):
“I don’t know another person stepping over you on any level, any job,” Livingston added. “On the street, if you see a guy outside sitting down homeless, you’re going to walk around him, not step over him.”
Great point! It's just like all those times your coworker stepped over you en route to an important meeting as you saved a new spreadsheet while laying on the floor. So disrespectful.
Forget for a moment that Draymond Green is not homeless, and that your walk down the street is decidedly less urgent than a fourth-quarter possession in an NBA Finals game. With these press conference quotes, the Warriors imply that James' initial offending action was so disrespectful, so offensive to the cultural norms of American manhood, that Green's instinctual reaction should go unpunished. This is dumb.
Draymond Green. Hit a guy. In the junk. On purpose. Again!
But pro basketball is not like your job, so Mr. Green basically get a day off with a police escort to happy hour with his coworkers. In the NBA, the punishment rarely fits the crime. |ES|
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Header image: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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