Draymond Green 'bothered' by ejection vs. Hornets more than 2016 Finals ban: 'I was dead-ass wrong'

Jason Owens
·4 min read

Draymond Green expressed regret on Monday for a pair of technical fouls that set the Golden State Warriors up for a loss on Saturday.

In fact, he's more "bothered" by the ejection in a regular-season loss to the Charlotte Hornets than his ban for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals. The Warriors lost that game and ultimately the series in seven games to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Let Green explain.

'I was dead-ass wrong'

"I was dead-ass wrong," Green said of his actions that drew the technical fouls on Saturday. "Not that I was wrong, like I said, for the first tech, per se. Whatever that situation is, once I have the first tech, I can't get the second tech. And so, I was a bit disappointed. I'm still a bit disappointed in myself.

"That whole situation bothered me ... more than being suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals in 2016. The reason it bothered me more ... this situation in particular, I had complete control over. I let that control get away from me. In turn, I let the game get away from myself and my teammates."

Hornets converted Green's technicals into a win

In case you missed it, a pair of late technical fouls on Green allowed the Hornets to tie the game at the free-throw line seconds before Terry Rozier hit the winning buzzer-beater against the Warriors on Saturday.

With Golden State leading 100-98, Green and Hornets forward Gordon Hayward fought over a loose ball after a jump ball at center court. Hayward secured the tip and fell to the floor before Green dove to contest Hayward's control of the ball.

Officials ruled that Hayward secured possession and a timeout with 9.3 seconds remaining. Green was furious.

He drew a technical foul protesting the call and didn't stop. He picked up another technical, leading to his ejection and a pair of free throws that Rozier hit to tie the game at 100. When the Hornets inbounded the ball on the ensuing possession, Rozier did this:

Ball game. 102-100, Hornets.

Green's behavior on the court drew a stern condemnation from Warriors head coach Steve Kerr after the game.

"He crossed the line. That's the main thing," Kerr told reporters. "We love his passion and his energy, and we would not be the team we are without him. But that doesn't give him license to cross the line, and he knows that."

Green acknowledged Kerr's criticism with his mea culpa on Monday.

Was that really worse than Green's Finals ban?

So how does Saturday's ejection compare to Green's suspension in the NBA Finals? It appears that he still blames the NBA for that one more than he does himself.

Green had developed a habit of attacking opponents' groins at that point in his career. A groin shot at LeBron James in Game 4 of the Finals (:49 below) resulted in his fourth flagrant foul of the playoffs, a threshold that came with an automatic suspension for Game 5.

The league retroactively assessed the flagrant foul after reviewing the video, and Green didn't agree with the decision.

The Warriors, who held a 3-1 series lead, lost Game 5, 112-97. While it was a wide margin, it's not unreasonable to assess that prime Green could have turned the tide in Golden State's favor where a win would have secured an NBA championship. Instead, Cleveland won three straight to secure its only NBA title.

But Green still apparently believes that his habitual groin hunting didn't warrant a suspension. And that's apparently why he's bothered more by an ejection in a regular-season loss to the Hornets in 2021.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 20: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors reacts following a call during the fourth quarter of their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on February 20, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Draymond Green was furious with the officials on Saturday. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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