Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is being fined $25,000 by the NBA for flipping the double bird to Memphis Grizzlies fans in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals. Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks is suspended without pay for Game 3 for his flagrant foul on the Warriors’ Gary Payton II.
Green took an inadvertent elbow to the area around his eye from Xavier Tillman that required stitches. On his way back to the locker room, Green exchanged pleasantries with the cheering Memphis crowd.
“You gonna boo someone who was elbowed in the eye and face is running with blood, you should get flipped off,” Green said. “I’ll take the fine. I’ll do an appearance and make up the money. It felt really good to flip them off. … If they are going to be that nasty, I will be nasty, too. I’m assuming the cheers were because they know I’ll be fined. Great — I make $25 million a year. I should be just fine.”
Draymond Green on his double bird to the crowd: “You’re gonna boo someone who got elbowed and has blood running down (his) face, you should get flipped off. I’ll take the fine.” pic.twitter.com/a86Fg4j1V6
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 4, 2022
Green received a flagrant 2 foul and was ejected in Game 1 for hitting Brandon Clarke in the face after missing a swipe at the ball, and subsequently pulling him down to the floor by his jersey.
Brooks received a flagrant foul 2 and was ejected in Game 2 for attempting to make a play on the ball, also missing, and striking a mid-air Payton II in the head. Payton II fell awkwardly to the ground and fractured his elbow. He’ll be out at least a month.
Memphis' Dillon Brooks gets tossed for this foul on Golden State's Gary Payton II.
Two games, two ejections between the Warriors and Grizzlies.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) May 4, 2022
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was livid after the foul and could be seen screaming at the officiating crew. When Brooks was ejected, Kerr could be heard yelling, “Get the f— out of here, Brooks!”
After the game Kerr said Brooks “broke the code” and that the play was “dirty.”
Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins addressed the Brooks suspension and the accusation that his team plays dirty.
“It’s disappointing,” Jenkins said. “It’s an unfortunate circumstance and we will honor the league’s decision. It’s a tough play. We wish Gary Payton a speedy and healthy recovery. You don’t want to see anybody get hurt.
“I also wanted to address a narrative out there that was said between Game 1 and Game 2. It was said that we have to play more physical, and the word dirty has been thrown out there. I look at my locker room and I look at our culture and what we exude — we are the furthest thing from dirty. We are competitive. I want that to be squashed pretty quick here. I know words only mean so much right here. We feel for what Payton is going through and that’s not going to change the course of action, but our guys are going to rally and focus on Game 3.”
This series is getting more intense by the minute. Look for the referees to try and take charge very early in Game 3. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a very tight whistle.
If that is the case it would favor the Warriors, who do a lot of off-ball cutting and movement. In the playoffs, officials usually let grabbing and some physical play off the ball go.
As playoff series advance the animosity between the teams tends to grow and the league, which is so cognizant of its image, doesn’t want anything to escalate.
Game 3 is Saturday night in San Francisco.