BOSTON — The topic of whether Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green should have been ejected in Game 2 of the NBA Finals dominated headlines this week.
Green, who already picked up an earlier technical foul, had a mini altercation with Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown toward the end of the second quarter that went unpenalized.
Two technicals are an automatic ejection.
Celtics forward Grant Williams, who is a vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, spoke to Yahoo Sports about the minor controversy.
“By the rules, a tech is a tech regardless of the situation. But as players, all we want to see is consistency,” Williams told Yahoo Sports after practice Tuesday. “When the refs decided not to give Dray a second tech, we expected it and we moved on. We didn’t harp on it. We just hope that grace is extended for everyone.”
The play in question is when Green contested Brown’s jump shot and fouled him. Both players fell to the ground. Green’s leg ended up on top of Brown and the guard pushed his leg off, prompting Green to slightly shove him in the back. Brown proceeded to stand up over Green and the forward grabbed Brown’s shorts as he got up to confront him.
During the ABC broadcast, referee analyst and former longtime NBA official Steve Javie said it’s important to consider Green’s previous tech.
“You have to consider one player definitely has a technical foul,” he said. “Is this enough to call a double-T and eject the one player? Personally, I would say nothing and I would let it just defuse as that. That’s just my opinion.”
The referees reviewed the incident for several minutes and decided the common foul on the shot would be the extent.
Some argue that the Green-Brown incident would have been a double technical if Green hadn’t already been hit with a technical.
Green did a “SportsCenter” interview with Michael Eaves after Game 2 and stated, “I’ve earned differential treatment.”
“If the refs are taking into consideration that a player — a key player — already has a technical and then they decide for whatever reason that a similar incident doesn’t warrant a second technical, that’s fine as long as there is consistency. The problem is there is no consistency,” Williams told Yahoo Sports. “As players, we just want to know how the game is going to be officiated and then we’ll adjust. I personally believe you have to understand the magnitude of the game and how an ejection can impact the game. No one wants to see the game impacted by an ejection. But either all techs are the same or you consider the situation when [contemplating] a second tech. We just want the rules to be enforced straight forward and consistently.”
The Warriors, and particularly Green, brought the physicality in Game 2 to even the series. The Celtics are looking to do the same with Games 3 and 4 in Boston.
“I mean, you respond to fire with fire, right? Celtics guard Marcus Smart said. “We’ve just got to turn around and do the same thing. If he’s going to come in here and try to be physical, this is our house and we’ve got to protect it.”