During Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday night, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green committed a flagrant foul when he kicked Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams in the groin.
Green says it was unintentional, but several disagree. Green did a similar play to Adams in Game 2, but it wasn't that noticeable. Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, of course, believes it was intentional. Many say Green is lucky he didn't get a flagrant-2 call.
So what should the verdict be on Green? Should the NBA suspend him for Game 4? Let's take a look.
First of all, kicking someone in the groin isn't a good look at all for the NBA. They suspended Dahntay Jones of the Cleveland Cavaliers for kicking Toronto Raptors center Bismack Biyombo in his private area at the end of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Suspending Green for his kick, unintentional or not, would make things consistent for the league. Many would question why Green gets a pass for doing the same thing that Jones did, who got suspended for Game 4.
However, suspending Green for Game 4 could have a huge impact on this series. Although he played poorly in the Warriors' 133-105 loss, Green is still a major factor for this team.
With him out for Game 4, the Thunder can definitely take a commanding 3-1 series lead. While coming back down from 3-1 is doable (we saw it last year with the Houston Rockets), it is definitely not easy, even for a team that went 73-9 in the regular season.
Suspending Green for Game 4 definitely can shift the competition for both teams, and the suspension would end up being even more controversial on the league's part. With that, the league could go another route by just fining Green instead.
That right there would be the main reason why the NBA would suspend Jones but not Green for kicking someone in the groin.
The Cavaliers can do without Jones for the whole postseason. Some probably forgot he was even in the league! Green, on the other hand, is one of the best defensive players in the game and is sometimes considered the heart and soul of this Warriors team.
Overall, if I were the NBA though, I would probably suspend Green. Despite all the reasons, I think it would be best for the league to remain consistent. It would also send a message that every player is held accountable, whether you are a big-name player in the league or not.
Back in 2012, Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade kicked Ramon Sessions in the groin, and he got suspended for one game. While that was in the regular season, the league sent a message. It doesn't matter if it is the conference finals or a regular season game in January, you just can't do that.
Green has now been caught twice doing the same act, and to the same player. Looking at the footage, it's just hard to justify seeing it was a natural what Green did and that it was unintentional.
Yes, Green being suspended does shift the competition, but he should have been aware of the consequences if he was going to do acts like this.
Maybe he will know better for now on to not kick people in the nuts.