Draymond Green has had an eventful first two games in the second round as his Golden State Warriors have squared off against the Memphis Grizzlies. He was ejected for Game 1 after committing a Flagrant 2 foul against Memphis forward Brandon Clarke.
Midway through Game 2, he was elbowed in the head by Grizzlies center Xavier Tillman, and that set off yet another incident. As he returned to the locker room, Green gave Grizzlies fans both of his middle fingers. The NBA has since fined him $25,000 for the gesture.
Draymond Green keeping it classy on the way to the locker room in Game 2. pic.twitter.com/2V8ZmwkJYG— Beale Street Bears (@BealeStBearsFS) May 4, 2022
After the game, Green explained that he was comfortable getting fined to make a point. "If you're gonna boo somebody who got elbowed in the eye and face running down blood, you should get flipped off," Green said after Game 2. "So I'll take the fine. I'll do an appearance and make up the money. But it felt really good to flip them off. You're gonna boo someone that gets elbowed in the eye and blood running down their face? I could've had a concussion or anything. If they're gonna be that nasty, I can be nasty, too. I'm assuming the cheers were because they know I'll get fined.
Green had some existing beef with Memphis fans after his Game 1 ejection. As the officials reviewed the play that ended his night, fans at the FedEx Forum chanted "throw him out" at Green. The officials did throw Green out, but the Grizzlies still couldn't stop the Warriors from taking a 1-0 lead in the series. They did get revenge by prevailing 106-101 in Game 2.
The NBA has never condoned players giving fans the middle finger. In the first round, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving was fined $50,000 for directing the same gesture at Boston Celtics fans. Green has a history of being disciplined by the league for his on-court actions, including an infamous suspension for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals. The middle fingers are just the latest in a long line of incidents for the star forward.