Earlier today, the NBA suspended Golden State Warriors all-star forward Draymond Green from Monday's Game 5 of the NBA Finals after Green was assessed a flagrant foul 1 for this play on LeBron James. The latest flagrant brought Green's total to four for the playoffs, resulting in an automatic suspension from his next game to go along with the embarrassment of being mocked on Twitter and possibly having to celebrate his second-straight NBA title in street clothes. Which, as we've seen, could end up embarrassing in itself.
But let's get into these supposed "incidents" by Draymond Green. If you were to check Twitter, Vine, Instagram, television, a newspaper, or even Michael Wilbon's imaginary black barbershop where everybody sits around hating analytics, the conversations are all centered around how Draymond Green is a "dirty player" who "makes blatant attempts to attack other players' balls." Which, after you go back and analyze the footage, are all garbage allegations. Draymond Green isn't a dirty player. Pesky? Sure. Tenacious? Definitely. Gritty? Maybe if he were Caucasian, yeah. But dirty? No way—not Draymond Green. Let's check the film.
The idea that the NBA could label this a flagrant foul is absurd. This was simply an unintentional reflex. LeBron James—yet again in an attempt to prove his superiority over the rest of the league—stepped over Draymond Green, thus exposing himself to danger. LeBron thought he could walk over Draymond like he's walked over so many decent people in his path, and Draymond Green's hand involuntarily made the correct basketball play. Isn't one of the first things you learn on the court is to go after loose balls? Draymond Green understands FUNDAMENTALS.
Here's another controversial play, this time while going against Kyrie Irving in Game 1:
Draymond Green truthers will blame the physical Michigan State alum while asking dumb things like "Why is he trying to kick Kyrie Irving in the neck?" and "How is it possible for a man to get tossed so easily by someone 37 pounds lighter and also why is he trying to kick Kyrie Irving in the neck?" It's possible some may interpret this video as a man attempting to kick another man in the throat. The truth is that basketball is a game of positioning, and Draymond's most advantageous position here is to prevent the Cavs guard from getting the upper hand by using his foot to box out Kyrie's neck.
Additionally, these questions are an affront to Draymond's character and overlook the real question at hand: Why don't we have more sympathy for Draymond Green's leg condition?
We've seen time and again that Mary Babers' son suffers from a condition that forces his leg to swiftly extend at random moments on the court. Heck, we've seen it happen multiple times in the same playoff round.
This was Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals:
And Game 3:
And these were each from Game 5:
Where's the outpouring of sympathy for Draymond Green? Here we have a man with the complete inability to control his leg, a man who so triumphed over the limited control God gave him over his right leg that he not only made it to the NBA, but became second team all-NBA and one of the pivotal pieces on the greatest team in league history!
This is a script fit for Disney, not a dirty player looking to gain an advantage through low-blows and throat kicks.
But such is the world we live in. Here we have a heroic underdog with physical restrictions who plays on a team with the most humble MVP the NBA's ever seen...
...and all we can do as fans is pile on and label the man "dirty." No, YOU'RE dirty, America. While you complain, Draymond Green just pulls up his boot straps, supports his teammates, and hopes his foot doesn't accidently kick LeBron James in the temple should the Cavs make it to Game 6.
FREE DRAYMOND GREEN!