Draymond Green suspended for Warriors-Kings Game 3 for stomp; Domantas Sabonis questionable with ‘sternum contusion’

April 19, 2023 in Sports

Draymond Green was suspended for one game without pay by the NBA after he stomped on Domantas Sabonis’ chest during Monday’s Golden State Warriors game against the Sacramento Kings.

The NBA announced the decision in a Tuesday statement from executive vice president of basketball operations Joe Dumars, who wrote the ban “was based in part on Green’s history of unsportsmanlike acts.” Green will miss Game 3 on Thursday (10 p.m. ET, TNT).

Domantas Sabonis questionable with sternum injury
Shortly after the suspension was announced, the Kings announced Sabonis “sustained a sternum contusion” and is questionable for Game 3.

The incident took place late in Game 2 that Sacramento won, 114-106 to take a 2-0 series lead. Sabonis fell to the floor during a fight for a rebound on a Kings shot. Golden State’s Stephen Curry secured the rebound and led the Warriors offense to the other side of the court.

Green was standing next to Sabonis during the change of possession, and Sabonis grabbed hold of Green’s right ankle. Green pulled his foot away from Sabonis’ grasp, then stomped on his chest before starting to run down the court. Sabonis writhed on the floor in pain.

After a review, officials assessed a technical foul on Sabonis for the grab and a flagrant 2 on Green, which triggered an automatic ejection. The Kings led, 91-87 at the time of the incident and went on to an 8-point win. Green finished the game with 8 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal and 5 turnovers.

Sabonis continued to play and tallied 24 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists in the Kings win. Postgame X-rays didn’t reveal any injuries for Sabonis, but further imaging on Tuesday led to his diagnosis and questionable status for Game 3.

Draymond Green’s been here before in the playoffs
The ban is not Green’s first in postseason play. The NBA suspended him for Game 5 of the 2016 Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers after he struck LeBron James in the groin in Game 4, drawing a flagrant foul call. The Warriors led the series, 3-1 at the time of Green’s ban. The Cavaliers won Game 5 and rallied for a 4-3 series win to secure the NBA championship.

Like the suspension announced on Tuesday, Green’s 2016 ban was also a result of cumulative offenses. Earlier in the same postseason, Green was assessed a flagrant foul for kicking then-Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams in the groin. The flagrant for striking James put him over a flagrant foul limit and triggered an automatic ban.

“While Draymond Green’s actions in Game Four do not merit a suspension as a standalone act, the number of flagrant points he has earned triggers a suspension for Game Five,” then-executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe wrote in a statement.

Unlike his 2016 ban, Tuesday’s suspension was not automatically triggered. The NBA instead considered Green’s history of transgressions in deciding to levy a standalone suspension. Green faced a one-game ban during the regular season in March after his 16th technical foul triggered an automatic ban. He was assessed his 16th technical for bouncing a ball off Russell Westbrook’s head during a game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Green’s pending absence once again arrives at a critical juncture in a playoff series. The defending champion Warriors return home to San Francisco looking to avoid a 0-3 series hole that would put them on the brink of a first-round playoff exit.