WATCH: Draymond Green kicks James Harden in the head and costs the Warriors
Warriors forward once again can't keep hands or feet to himself
The answer, if you were wondering, is no, Draymond Green has not learned his lesson.
Green found himself in hot water in last season's playoffs for landing a kick straight to the reproductive organs of Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams. Then he was suspended during the NBA Finals for his tap to LeBron James' groin. The issue was so rampant that the league issued a memo saying it would make random kicks a point of emphasis this year. Here's what vice president of replay and referee operations Joe Borgia said about it:
"Now all of a sudden legs are coming out in different directions at weird times, they're coming higher," he said. "Well, for the protection of the players, we're going to stop it."
During the Warriors' 132-127 loss to the Rockets on Thursday night, Green once again put those flying feet to work. With 2:14 to go in the second overtime, Green grabbed an offensive rebound, went up for the putback, and was fouled by James Harden. He brought his legs up, and...
Draymond Green was back to his kicking ways against the Rockets, connecting with James Harden's face in 2OT pic.twitter.com/wG6fywbGMx— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) December 2, 2016
While Harden was assessed a foul, Green was assessed a flagrant foul. Harden made both free throws while Green split his, and the Rockets' lead was four. An Eric Gordon runner on the ensuing possession made the lead six with under two minutes to go, and that was the ballgame.
Green managed to control himself after the game, saying that the decisions of the officials have nothing to do with him.
Draymond Green prodded a bit more on the late flagrant call: "They going to do what they going to do. Ain't got nothing to do with me." pic.twitter.com/WdzUkAZdU4— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 2, 2016
And then later, Green tweeted this:
Marked...— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) December 2, 2016
So clearly, Green doesn't feel he did anything wrong by kicking Harden in the face. Green has maintained that these plays are the result of his natural shooting motion, which one Twitter account actually went through and documented last spring during the hubbub. However, intention really isn't the question here. The league made it clear that these kinds of plays wouldn't be tolerated, regardless of purpose.
Green had one responsibility here: not kicking someone. He failed by, in fact, kicking someone. This isn't exactly the toughest play in the world to legislate. Green knew the league was watching out for such plays, and even if it was unintentional, he had to expect a consequence.
It's one regular-season game and just the Warriors' third loss of the season. But on a frustrating night, you can bet Green will have some hard feelings about this, and the issue could come up again if he can't keep his feet to himself.
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