clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Around the NBA: KD speaks out on Draymond’s violence issues; Giannis ‘Freaks’ out over a game ball?

Giannis goes bonkers, Draymond remains awaiting suspension length, as Kevin Durant expresses concern for his former Warriors’ teammate, plus more.

Golden State Warriors v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

While Joel Embiid continues to destroy his competition so thoroughly he’s made a habit of buying himself the fourth quarter to rest and let the reserves handle mop up, the 76ers are still in fourth place in the East, sitting just half a game back from Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.

And the Sixers hot start has fans salivating for reinforcements to help put this team over the top. Our Sean Kennedy most recently has his eye on Spurs’ forward Keldon Johnson.

But outside Sixerville, there is plenty going on around the league lately.

Draymond receives indefinite suspension; KD expresses concern

Draymond Green was ejected for the third time this season when he took a dirty, Metta World Peace-style, shot at Suns’ big Jusuf Nurkic.

Per ESPN’s Kendra Andrews:

“According to the NBA’s release, the indefinite suspension “takes into account Green’s repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts.”

The league said the penalty handed down by operations chief Joe Dumars begins immediately. This is already Green’s second suspension this season.

“He will be required to meet certain league and team conditions before he returns to play,” the NBA said.”

Unfortunately, Green’s actions were not surprising, so much of the fault should lie with the NBA league office at this point. The four-time champion has one of the more checkered histories in terms of violent, dirty plays. Here, a wild WWE-themed compilation of Green being Green.

And it was probably just a matter of time before he really hurt someone at the rate he was going. Hopefully, this suspension spells the end of his dirty-player reign.

I tweeted back in November that the Draymond Green-Rudy Gobert choking incident should have garnered a lengthy suspension based on previous incidents, because not even the rib stomp he mostly got away with during the playoffs last spring (requiring Kings’ All-Star Domas Sabonis to need testing which would reveal a bruised sternum) coaxed the league to look as closely at Green’s ugly track record as they are are now and take appropriate action. Is it some title-team bias? Surely, if he was doing this stuff in Detroit or Charlotte he’d have seen longer suspensions in the past, right?

Green doesn’t even seem to understand that what he did was highly, highly inappropriate and unusual, and that the game’s greatest call-sellers somehow, mystifyingly, find ways to well, never get ejected or hurt people.

Per ESPN, in Green’s own, Doc Rivers-esque words, still lacking true accountability:

“I am not one to apologize for things I mean to do, but I do apologize to Jusuf because I didn’t intend to hit him,” Green said after the game. “I sell calls with my arms ... so I was selling the call ... and I swung and unfortunately I hit him.”

Green still doesn’t exactly sound like a guy hellbent on changing his dirty ways, does he? Maybe the suspension (and corresponding docked pay) will help him get the message, who knows?

Even Kevin Durant, who never even said this stuff about Kyrie Irving (!!!) hopes Green can “get the help he needs.” Lol.

Per CBS’ Sam Quinn:

“That was insane to see,” Durant said. “Glad Nurk is all right. Never seen that before in a basketball court in an NBA game. I hope Draymond gets the help he needs. It’s been incident after incident. I know Draymond and that’s not, he hasn’t been that way when I was around him and coming into the league. Hopefully, he gets the help he needs to get back on the court and put all this stuff behind him.”

I know Nurk is KD’s teammate, but for him to even hint that Green needs some anger-management therapy, or whatever KD is hinting here about “getting help”, it’s pretty out of character. Durant must be pretty taken aback and concerned for his fellow players league-wide.

Green infamously kicked a few other players in the groin over the years, along with many dangerous takedown flagrant fouls. He even helped tip an NBA championship to the Cleveland Cavaliers, once losing his cool under pressure and getting himself suspended for a closeout title game! LeBron James’ Cavaliers would take full advantage, coming back from down 3-1 to win that series back in 2016.

Green is no stranger to hurting his team by dangerously targeting opponents. The bigger problem to me is that the NBA has done so little over the years to get through to him. Just ask Jordan Poole, now in Washington, perhaps in part because Green sucker-punched him during practice.

I cannot help but wonder what Green’s reputation would be if he wasn’t fortunate enough to have been drafted to a team with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, SMH.

Anywho, the Sixers play the Warriors once in late January, and again in early February. Hopefully, for everyone’s sake, Green is still doing personal inventory and losing money through Valentine’s Day.

Giannis ‘Freaks’ out over game ball?

You may have also seen some of the footage of Giannis getting into a heated exchange with some members of the Indiana Pacers following the Bucks’ 146-120 win over Tyrese Haliburton’s team. Giannis and Haliburton were seen having an animated discussion amid a fracas because The Greek Freak desperately wanted the game ball. Giannis broke former Bucks’ scorer Michael Redd’s 57 points-in-a-game Milwaukee-franchise record when the former NBA Finals MVP dropped 64 in the win.

Pacers coach Rick Carisle said that Indiana took one of the two official game balls for Oscar Tshiebwe, who scored his very first NBA point in the matchup, and that they weren’t thinking about Giannis’ team record at all when they did so.

According to ESPN Thursday:

“That led to a confrontation between members of the teams in the arena hallway. Carlisle said several Bucks players, including Antetokounmpo, came into the Pacers tunnel looking for the ball and that a scuffle ensued. The coach said Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan was elbowed in the ribs by one of the Milwaukee players.”

Here’s some footage of a moment Giannis probably will wish he handled differently once he cools down, even if he still wishes he nabbed the correct Wilson:

We’ll see if Giannis gets trolled as hard as Joel Embiid would have if he were the one in this spot — not that Joel would have handled things even remotely close to the same way.

After things settled down Giannis attempted to save face-and claimed he wanted the ball not for himself but for his teammate, Damian Lillard, who surpassed former Sixers’ sniper Kyle Korver on the league’s all-time made triples list. Lillard now sits fifth overall behind names active names like Steph Curry and James Harden.

Whether Freak wanted that ball for his own mantle or truly wanted to present it to Dame, he probably would have improved his chances of winning sympathy from the Pacers if he’d been a little more respectful. You can see how his approach may have pissed off the Pacers.

But hey, if you want a guy who is always classy, maybe call Tobias Harris! He’ll never do this type of thing. Sorry for the stray, Tobi. I don’t know what came over me.

But yeah, go back and watch some of those clips; was it me or was Dame mortified at what was happening? Lol. I’m not sure he really needed that particular ball.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Liberty Ballers Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Philadelphia 76ers news from Liberty Ballers