OAKLAND, Calif. — After the Golden State Warriors’ 115-107 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night, All-Star forward Draymond Green was asked his thoughts on the $25,000 fine he was handed by the league for his role in Friday’s altercation with Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal.
The NBA says Green was penalized for “failing to disengage.”
Green didn’t hold back his criticism of that explanation.
“It came as no surprise to me,” he said. “I was naive enough to think that the first tech [for arguing an offensive foul call] would get rescinded since I said it wasn’t my shoulder. But, silly me to think they’re going to take a tech back from me. I was also naive enough to think they’d say, you know, I got slapped, or whatever I got in the face and then grabbed. I don’t know what else you’re supposed to do at that point. I didn’t even grab him and slam him. I grabbed him and held my ground, and then they slammed me on top of him. What did they say? I continued, or I failed to disengage? How do you disengage at that point? That sounds like we got him, to me. I have never heard that before in my life.”
The incident started when Beal drove toward the basket and had his shot blocked by Green with 23 seconds left in the first half of a 120-117 Warriors victory. The Wizards maintained possession, but as the two jostled for position in the paint, Beal hit Green in the face from behind. Green then grabbed Beal, and the two got locked up. The pair backpedaled toward fans in the front row under the Wizards basket and eventually fell. Members of both teams, as well as officials, coaches and even a fan, tried to break it up.
Beal was fined $50,000 for initiating the incident. Kelly Oubre Jr. was fined $15,000 for aggressively entering the altercation. Markieff Morris, who is recovering from hernia surgery and was inactive for the game, and Carrick Felixwere suspended one game each for leaving the bench.
Green argued that when Beal wrapped him up, he had no choice but to attempt to free himself. And thus, he believes he should not have been ejected and should not have been fined.
“And out in the world, if somebody hits you, you’re allowed to defend yourself. It’s called self-defense,” he said. “If somebody shoots you, you’re allowed to shoot back. Self-defense. I got hit and didn’t even hit back and got fined.
“And then for him to get fined only $50,000 and I get fined $25,000. Oubre came in throwing punches and he gets fined less than me? That just don’t add up. I know [the league is] not the biggest fan of me, and that’s fine, but don’t be so obvious that you’re not the biggest fan of me. That’s just too obvious. So, I think at the end of the day, they’re going to make out who they want to make out to be the bad guy. That’s cool, but be fair across the board.”
Green then directed his ire at an NBA executive.
“They got presidents of teams giving middle fingers on national TV and nothing’s said,” he said. “You don’t want to shine the light on somebody else. They got someone else to be the bad guy, so I’ll just keep being me. I guess I’m not supposed to be me. I tried that. That s— don’t work, either. So, it is what it is. I wish I had a better answer, but I really don’t have a better answer. Failing to disengage? I don’t know what that means. Getting punched, grabbed and slammed is maybe what that means.”
The executive Green was referring to, sources tell ESPN, was Portland Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey. After LA Clippers power forward Blake Griffin nailed a game-winning triple in Portland on Thursday, Olshey was seen on camera along the baseline making a nondescript hand gesture.
Sources said the league looked into the matter and learned that Olshey’s hand gesture was directed at a close friend, who is a fan of the Clippers, which is why no punishment was issued.
As for the scuffle with Beal, Green said he’s still not over how everything went down.
“I’m still watching that video over again, trying to figure out what I did wrong,” he said.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr didn’t agree with the penalties, either.
“I don’t know how you get fined $25,000 for being attacked,” he said. “So, I don’t know. It seemed like maybe there’s some prior reputation to it.
“There’s some curious stuff in there. It looked to me like Oubre came out there and went into the crowd and caused a lot more. Draymond, he was the one who was attacked in the first place. It seemed like those fines could have been reversed.”
Should a similar situation occur and Green find himself wrapped up by another player in the future, how might he handle it?
“I would say defend myself, but I really didn’t defend myself. So, I would say I probably can’t protect myself,” he said.