Once again, Warriors player Draymond Green is surrounded by polemic after he stamped over Kings star Domantas Sabonis in this Monday’s Conference playoff clash. When asked about the situation, the power foward said he needed to place his foot somewhere, and the only thing beneath his feet was the rival’s chest.
The 33-year-old stepped over Sacramento’s player after Sabonis wrapped his arms around his legs during last night’s fourth quarter, as the Kings earned a 2-0 series lead after winning 114 to 106.
Take a look at the scenes this Monday in California and judge it yourselves:
Draymond Green was given a Flagrant 2 after stepping on Domas’ chest. pic.twitter.com/4V2HOUphYI
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) April 18, 2023
The incident was checked immediately by the officials as Green was handed a flagrant foul and recieved an automatic ejection, while Sabonis called for a technical foul.
“My leg got grabbed,” the Warriors player said. “The second time in two nights with the referees just watching [Green says Malik Monk grabbed his leg in front of the official in Game 1].
“I got to land my foot somewhere and I am not the most flexible person so it’s not stretching that far. I can only step so far and pulling my leg away, so it is what it is.”
When asked what the referees had told him, Green defended himself. “The explanation was I stomped too hard,” he said. “It was Monk last game so either you’re going to stop it…
“Jon Goble was looking at Monk hold my leg the last game and he just let it go and Zach (Zarba) was clearly watching my leg get held this game and let it go, so I guess ankle grabbing is okay.”
After the match, Sabonis was approached by reporters asking for his take on the subject. “I got hit earlier in the game in the jaw. So when I fell, I was protecting myself,” he said. “Then obviously, the incident happened. There’s no room for that in our game today.”
His teammates also had no doubt that Green recieved his fair share. “It was obvious. I think it was a dirty play,” Kings center Alex Len assured. “I’ve never seen it before — somebody just stomping a guy on the ground.”
His coach Mike Brown can’t wait to see what the league does about it. “It’s a Flagrant 2 for sure,” the trainer said. “It’ll be interesting to see what the NBA does after they review it.”
Not everyone was against Green, as Shaquille O’Neal sided with him
TNT analyst and Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, had his own view on the incident. “I am not going to sit here and be a hypocrite,” he started. “I would have done the same thing. Don’t be grabbing me because what am I gonna do?
“If I try to run forward I am going to fall. You’ve got to get above and and if he is above you, you might get stamped on. Was it a dirty play? Of course it was, but if you don’t grab me this won’t happen.”
Check out “Inside the NBA” panel of experts discussing the play between both players:
Sabonis later recalled the play as something that usually happens in basketball. “We’re both fighting for the rebound,” he told TNT. “We fell on each other. Stuff happens. It’s basketball. We got to move on to the next play.”
After the harsh play, Sacramento fans began to shoot derogatory chants towards the Warriors player, who incited them to yell even louder by waiving his hands and holding a hand to his ear.