The second game between Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors (114-106) of the first round of the NBA Playoffs 2023 left us with one of the most repulsive images that can be seen in professional sports. Warriors forward Draymond Green made a violent play on Kings center Domantas Sabonis, stomping on his chest as he ran back in transition. This play clearly fell outside the boundaries of sportsmanship.
Draymond Green and Domantas Sabonis get twisted up.
Green was issued a flagrant 2 (ejected) and Sabonis was issued a technical.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) April 18, 2023
Green reacted this way after Sabonis grabbed him by the leg; a fact that does not justify such aggression. "They grab my leg. It's the second time in two games. I have to let my foot land somewhere, and I'm not the most flexible person, I don't stretch that far," the Warriors forward said.
After reviewing the play, the referees decided to eject Green. The NBA decided to sanction him with a one-game suspension, so he will miss the third game of the series. On the other hand, Sabonis received a technical foul for grabbing his opponent's leg.
Kings fans began shouting expletives at Green, who reacted with cockiness: he was confronted by several fans as he entered the locker room tunnel.
Draymond Green interacts with Kings fans as he was ejected.
(via ben.golliver/IG) pic.twitter.com/vRYyJ1AUda
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 18, 2023
Green uploaded a story to his Instagram account with a video capture of the assault and which read, "Nothing wrong here. Solid basketball play."
This loss leaves the Warriors in a delicate situation. The Kings are up 2-0 in the series, so the defending champions will have to come from behind to try to retain the title won in last year's NBA Playoffs.
This is not Green's first controversy
There are athletes whose altered character tarnishes what they are capable of doing on the court. Draymond Green is one of them. It is indisputable that he is a great basketball player, capable of anchoring a top-level defense on his own. In fact, he has been one of the major contributors to the Golden State Warriors winning four of the past eight championships. However, beyond his level as a player, Green has also been notable for his excessive aggressiveness on and off the court.
In 2022, a video was leaked showing Green throwing a punch at teammate Jordan Poole during Warriors practice.
Draymond’s punch on Jordan Poole pic.twitter.com/lsvlCUwZcC
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) October 7, 2022
In 2016, he was released on bail after being arrested for assaulting a person in Michigan. Two years later, Green got into a heated mid-game argument with former Warriors' teammate Kevin Durant. This brawl ultimately culminated with Durant's departure from the team.