Warriors superstar Draymond Green laments over his Game Five suspension during the 2016 NBA Finals, which could have otherwise earned him a Finals MVP trophy.
The Warriors-Cavaliers rivalry is one of the greatest rivalries in NBA history. The two teams met each other in four consecutive NBA Finals, with Stephen Curry and co having a 3-1 lead. However, no contest between the two teams can top the 2016 NBA Finals.
The Cavaliers became the first team in Finals history to come back from a 3-1 deficit. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving put on one of the greatest shows in basketball. James brought his hometown Cleveland a title, ending its 52-year championship drought, cementing James’ legacy as one of the greatest.
It was a heartbreaking ending for the Warriors, who had a record 73-9 season. One of the biggest highlights of the Finals continues to remain Warriors forward Draymond Green’s controversial Game Five suspension. The former DPOY got into a heated altercation with James.
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Green would earn his third flagrant foul of the postseason, leading to a one-game suspension. Thus the four-time All-Star had to sit out for Game Five at the Oracle Arena.
Draymond Green reveals his biggest regret of the Game Five suspension.
Things got ugly between Green and James during the Final minutes of Game Four at the Quicken Loans Arena. The two future Hall of Famers got entangled during a play, with James shoving Green to the ground and walking over him.
LeBron James and Draymond Green get tangled up; James steps over Green pic.twitter.com/dAjxpU4C6Y
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) June 11, 2016
The two superstars had to be separated by the officials and teammates, with Green hurling expletives at James. According to sources, the Warriors forward looked at James and called him a b****. On further review of the play, Green was assigned a flagrant 1 foul, his third of the 2016 playoffs.
Thus leading to a Game Five suspension, Green had to sit out in a home game. What happened next is no secret, the Cavs would make one of the greatest comebacks in American sports history.
Recently, Green reflected on his Game Five suspension and how it could have changed the narrative of his career.
“The one thing, when I look back on it, that bothers me is I would’ve been the Finals MVP. And that totally changes the narrative. Good luck leaving me off the NBA 75 if I was Finals MVP. Good luck even having a debate if I’m a Hall of Famer or not if I was Finals MVP.” “When I look back on that from a selfish standpoint, which I rarely do, I would have been Finals MVP and that changes the course of everything.”
“I really dominated that game. So, it suc*s that we didn’t win it, because you’d always hear about that performance had we won. So, that bothers me. But there’s an old adage: In the end, you normally get what you deserve. And I got what I deserved.
Whether it was right or wrong – do I think I should’ve been suspended? No, I didn’t hit him. I got upgraded to a flagrant foul for trying to hit him. I tried. I definitely tried. He’s on my shoulder. But I missed.”
Green was one assist shy from a triple-double in Game Seven of the 2016 NBA Finals. The three-time champion had 32-points, 15-rebounds, 9-assists, 2-steals, and shot an incredible 73.3% from the field.
Though Green would have been in another stratosphere of players had he won the Finals MVP, nobody can deny he is one of the greatest playmakers the league has ever seen.