Draymond Green received a flagrant 1 for kicking Steven Adams in the groin in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday, but Stu Jackson believes Green deserved worse.
He also thinks the NBA will agree.
“You’d have to deem this to be a flagrant foul penalty 2,” the former NBA executive and current NBA-TV analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “It doesn’t appear to be a normal basketball play, but even if it was, it was reckless. The severity of the contact, to me, was very high. The potential for an injury (was) very high. And listen, in Game 4, certainly you could get a retaliation from the Thunder for something like that.”
While many fans and analysts are trying to decipher whether Green intended to kick Adams, Jackson believes intent is irrelevant.
“You have to deal specifically with the act,” he said. “Forget the intent. It’s very difficult to judge intent or what someone is thinking. You have to look at what he does and determine within the rules whether or not that act deserves a certain level of penalty or an upgrade. Everyone’s talking about (whether) he (meant) it. Who knows and who cares? The fact is, he made some pretty severe contact with another player that, quite frankly, jeopardized that player’s safety. That’s what you have to evaluate, not get into whether or not he meant it or didn’t mean it. Was it a basketball play? Was it reckless? Did it severely jeopardize the player? Those are the factors you have to deal with – not trying to read someone’s mind.”
Based on previous video, Green, when driving to the basket, often flails and extends his right leg, presumably to further sell the call to referees. This time, however, he made severe contact with Adams.
And no, this was not the same as Russell Westbrook’s leg nicking someone during a three-point attempt.
“Russell Westbrook didn’t make severe contact with his defender,” Jackson said. “In this case, Draymond Green did. He happened to catch him in the groin, and he has to be, at least in my mind, responsible for that.”
Gottlieb wondered if Adams’ health – the 22-year-old New Zealand native will be available for Game 4 on Tuesday – could factor into Green’s punishment, or lack thereof.
Jackson doesn’t believe it should.
“He went down like someone shot him – and understandably when you get kicked in the groin,” Jackson said of Adams. “I don’t think any player should have to be subjected to a reckless act by another player that jeopardizes their safety in the workplace, and essentially that’s what happened. Whether or not Draymond Green intended to do it or meant it, on some level, is irrelevant.”