Draymond Green is no stranger to technical fouls and ejections but this might be the strangest of his career.
Draymond Green has 124 career technical fouls, adding up to countless ejections and enough to lead the league twice. They aren’t just a meaningless stat accumulated on the side — his technical fouls and subsequent one-game suspension arguably swung the 2016 NBA Finals and opened the door for the Cleveland Cavaliers to make their epic comeback from a 3-1 deficit.
But for all his familiarity with the form, Green keeps finding ways to keep it fresh. In Thursday night’s loss to the Knicks, Draymond Green was ejected for a verbal outburst … against his own teammate.
It’s tough to tell in the video what’s happened but the Warriors‘ confusion is a clear indication that no one really understood what just happened. During halftime, the crew chief reportedly told Steve Kerr that the referee who called the technical thought Draymond was yelling at him when really he was yelling at his own teammate, James Wiseman.
Was Draymond Green’s ejection actually legal?
Kerr’s statement about the referee communications also makes clear he was told it was a mistake. Theoretically, a player could pick up a technical foul for actions against their own teammates but the threshold would be much different than actions with a referee. So, no, Draymond should not have been ejected.
That admission is particularly problematic considering the Warriors ended up losing by 15 points. Green was ejected with just a few minutes left in the first half and the Warriors trailing by just six points. He had already contributed eight assists in his 17 first-half minutes and it’s not unreasonable to think the Warriors could have won the game if he’d been able to stay on the floor.
After the game, Green expressed his frustration with the situation, speaking with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, particularly with the fact that it couldn’t be fixed in the moment.
“I’m just a bit confused. Officials can meet and make a decision on any call throughout the game, but when it comes to a technical that was clearly the wrong call, due to an official assuming I was talking to him when in fact I wasn’t, that can’t be overturned? Maybe it’s time to take a look at that rule. I would love clarity on why that’s the rule, if in fact it is a rule.”
He’s got a point.