The All-Star break is coming at a good time for Draymond Green.
He won’t be heading to Charlotte along with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant.
No, Green is headed off on vacation, and he’s looking forward to it, as one should.
“I’m going on vacation with my family, and I haven’t looked forward to a particular time period in my life more than I have this week coming up,” Green told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau. “I’m excited about going on vacation. All-Star weekend’s a grind, man.”
A grind is the last thing Green’s mind and body need right now, particularly after the last handful of games. Yes, the Warriors have been winning, but Green’s emotions have reached a boiling point as of late.
He picked up two technical fouls and a resulting ejection in Golden State’s win over the Suns last Friday. The next game against Miami, he picked up his 11th technical of the season.
And, in the final minutes of Wednesday’s loss to the Trail Blazers, he added another tech and a flagrant, to boot.
That’s a pattern that’s hard to ignore. Green will receive an automatic one-game suspension if and when he accrues his 16th technical.
So, yes, the All-Star break is coming at a great time for Green. Some time away from the court, away from the officials, away from the goading road crowds will do him plenty of good, body, mind and soul.
And, based on the waning minutes of Wednesday’s game in Portland, he’s not the only one that could use some time away.
Technically speaking, Steve Kerr didn’t break a clipboard in response to Green’s controversial flagrant foul. But he sure did slam it down on the score table. And then he let official Ken Mauer hear it.
Coach Kerr LOST IT after Dray was given a flagrant foul 😡 pic.twitter.com/mIVJo55tRj
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) February 14, 2019
Kerr received an ejection for his outburst, which, frankly, is perfectly understandable from both perspectives. The officials couldn’t let his reaction slide. And Kerr couldn’t let that ridiculous ruling go unchallenged.
“I was just shocked that that was called a flagrant foul,” Kerr said following the game. “That was head-scratching, you know, to be called a flagrant foul. I mean, the guy is going to go in for a dunk. You have to make sure he doesn’t dunk it. So, I told Kenny (Mauer) that I begged to differ.
This is the flagrant foul that led to Steve Kerr spiking his clipboard and getting tossed. pic.twitter.com/3FK224Wuhn
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 14, 2019
“I was shocked that we were even looking at the replay,” Kerr continued. “So, obviously, we’ll get an explanation from the league. But I just thought it was just a good, hard foul. So, I guess I was wrong.”
Kerr wasn’t the only member of the Warriors that thought Green got a raw deal.
“I understand his anger and rage, especially for that call,” Kevin Durant said of Kerr’s ejection. “I mean, I thought we should just keep playing, it was a common foul I thought. Refs looked at it differently and I understand why coach was a little frustrated.”
By definition, a flagrant foul requires unnecessary and/or excessive contact, and you’d pull a muscle making the stretch to define Green’s actions as such.
“I got a lot of ball,” Green said of the foul call after the game. “I don’t know, guess it’s the Draymond rule.”
“I got a tech, also, for standing there,” he continued. “That probably should be a delay of game, not a tech. You can’t, like, give somebody a tech because they’re standing somewhere. That’s a delay of game. But, whatever, might be Draymond Green rule #2.”
Obviously, there aren’t actual rules that call for Green to be officiated differently. But based on the flagrant he received Wednesday, and the disproportionate attention he constantly receives from the officials, it makes it difficult to believe that he isn’t being singled out in some fashion.
Steph Curry, who you could also argue is officiated differently from other superstars, is inclined to agree with that deduction.
“Honestly, I think that has something to do with it. I looked at the replay of that play, and the amount of ball that he got, I understand how they classify stuff with excessive whatever, but nothing was excessive about it. He got all ball.
“I thought it was a terrible call, and we obviously paid the price for it with how everything unfolded after that.”
So, suffice to say, the Warriors didn’t agree with the call. Not in the slightest. They lost a game they had a chance to win in the final minutes, and now head into the All-Star break on a losing note, although they’ve won 16 of 18.
When Golden State returns from the break, the playoff push will begin. The Warriors currently hold a two-game advantage over the Denver Nuggets for the top seed in the Western Conference. Having a reenergized, refocused, re-centered Green roaming the court would certainly aid in their pursuit of homecourt advantage.
In the meantime, though, Green can sit back and relax on a beach somewhere, where the controversial flagrant will inevitably fade from memory.
But when the Warriors return from the break?
“It sucks to lose,” Curry said, “but light the fire for when we come back.”