If you fell asleep early on Thursday night—or hell, if you fell asleep anytime before 2 a.m. on the East Coast—then you missed one hell of an NBA game. The Rockets and Warriors needed two overtimes to determine the outcome of their first matchup of the 2016-17 NBA season, and in the end, James Harden scored 29 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and dished out 13 assists to help Houston snap Golden State’s 12-game winning streak with a 132-127 win. But all anyone wanted to talk about after the game was—yet another!—controversial play involving Draymond Green or, more specifically, Draymond Green’s foot.
With about two minutes left in the second overtime and the Rockets leading by 3, Kevin Durant missed a three-point attempt and Green corralled his rebound. Green then attempted to go back up with the ball and was fouled in the process. But as he came back down to the floor, Green—who is obviously no stranger to accidentally (er, "accidentally"?) kicking opposing players—kicked his right leg up and hit Harden in the face. It sent Harden to the floor, and it sent Twitter into a frenzy with everyone wondering how in the world Green managed to kick another player at a key moment in a game.
Initially, there was some confusion over who was going to get called for a foul on the play, but after the game’s officials reviewed it, they decided to hit Green with a Flagrant 1 foul for kicking Harden.
They also called a foul on the Rockets and sent Green to the line. But Green hit just one of his two free throws, while Harden sank both his free throws to give the Rockets a 4-point lead and possession of the ball. It was a lead they wouldn’t give up. And after the game, Green was not happy with the way that particular possession played out.
"I never thought that they would call a flagrant foul," Green said. "That never even crossed my mind. It wasn’t really much going through my head at all, but I got to try and make these two free throws. Other than that, I really don’t worry too much about what they do."
Green stopped short of ripping the officials who made the call against him, but it was clear that he was frustrated with the Flagrant 1 foul.
"They’re going to do what they want to do," he said. "That ain’t got nothing to do with me…They’re going to do what they want to do. I don’t control what them people do. Whatever they decide is what they decide. It ain’t much I can do about it, it ain’t much apparently anybody else can do about it. So I really don’t care what it is. They called it. I got to move on."
Green was also upset about a play that happened with about 25 seconds left in the second overtime. He grabbed a rebound after Klay Thompson missed a three-pointer and made a layup while getting fouled by Rockets forward Montrezel Harrell. It appeared as though Harrell may have hit Green in the head on the play, but the officials chose not to call a flagrant foul on him, which also didn’t sit well with Green.
"I really don’t care," he said. "They’re going to do what they want to do regardless. It doesn’t make no difference one way or the other. I thought there was other calls that could have been called flagrant, too. So I’m under the impression if you’re hit in the head, incidental contact, I think that’s a flagrant foul if I’m not mistaken in the rule book. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll go read the rule book, maybe I’m wrong. But I’m not mistaken, I’m right. So who knows?"
"I really don’t have a perspective on it," Green continued. "That ain’t my job. They got a whole replay center, they got like three officials out there, they got a league office that makes rules. That ain’t really my job to assess it. I just play."
In addition to saying all that, Green also seemed to allude to what happened on the court when he sent out this tweet very early Friday morning:
Harden was also asked about Green’s kick after the game, and oddly enough, he said that it was an elbow and not Green’s foot that sent him crashing to the floor. He joked that his Invisalign helped protect him:
The Rockets and Warriors won’t meet again until Jan. 20 in Houston. If last night was any indication, it should be another great game.