CLEVELAND — This is a day the Warriors and their fans should be so excited and just can’t hide it.
There should be happy talk about their textbook victory in Game 4 against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. The much-needed return of Stephen Curry to Most Valuable Player form. The brilliant game plan of Steve Kerr and his staff and its execution by the players. The chance to clinch a second consecutive league championship and do it at Oracle Arena.
But what fun would that be, right, Draymond Green?
Instead, Green is the spotlight. Again. For the wrong reasons. Again. In Game 4, he was involved in a needless dust-up with LeBron James that left his status on Monday night in doubt. James tried to step over Green while he got up off the floor. Rather than ignore the move — after all, Green was one flagrant foul away from an automatic one-game suspension — he responded with a crotch shot from behind.
At his best, Green is a differencemaker, the kind of emotional leader who can elevate his team to championship levels. But too often he crosses the line with mindless stunts at the expense of teammates. Mind you, the latest took place only days after Green kicked the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Steven Adams in the groin, a low blow for which he later was assessed a flagrant 2.
To compound matters, James claimed that he went off because Green had called him the b-word, according to one report, and that could be strike three.
“I don’t know what should happen. It’s not my call,” James said afterwards. “That’s the league office. They’ll take a look at it. We all saw it in the locker room. You know, like I said, as a competitor, I love going against Draymond, and I’m all about going out there and leaving it out on the floor. But when it gets a little bit more than what it should be, that’s what caused me to have words with him.”
Said Green, “We had our words. I said what I had to say and he said what he had to say. Move on. I’m not going to sit there and argue with him. I know what position I’m in, in terms of double techs and stuff. Just move on from it.”
At a time when the Warriors should control their destiny, it’s in the hands of the NBA police. After further review, can the higher-ups ignore Green’s propensity for punishing male body parts in good conscience? Besides, league and television officials would like nothing better than to extend the series, and now they have a convenient reason to do it.
Take Green out of Game 5, and the Warriors are far less likely to close the deal. That leaves the door open for a sixth game on the road, where the Warriors are a different team.
All of a sudden, what should be a short series could be headed for seven games, all because Green put his own selfish interests ahead of his team at the worst possible time.
ONLY IN OAKLAND: Construction sign seen on Fruitvale Avenue: LUCK FEBRON.
Or something like that, anyway.
SO LONG, MR. HOCKEY: As a tribute to the late, great Gordie Howe, it would be nice for his jersey number No. 9 to appear somewhere on the the ice in Game 6 today.
Uh, you’ve heard of Gordie Howe, right, San Joseans? You know, Mr. Hockey? Detroit Red Wings? Possibly the greatest player ever?
Oh, forget it then.
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