NBA Says It’s Not Targeting Draymond Green’s Kicking, ‘Rules Have to Be Applied to Every Player the Same’

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In back-to-back games against the Rockets and Suns, Draymond Green kicked James Harden in the head on Thursday night and Marquese Chriss in the hand on Saturday night. Green was assessed a Flagrant-1 foul for kicking Harden, but received no punishment for the kick on Chriss.

On Friday, Green lashed out on the League’s “Unnatural Acts” rule and said that he is being unfairly targeted by NBA officials.

NBA Executive VP of Basketball Operations, Kiki VanDeWeghe, came out yesterday and said that the League is not targeting Draymond and clarified that “rules have to be applied to every player the same.”

From ESPN

“We noticed last year that more unnatural acts, such as arm flails and leg kicks, [occurred] for drawing attention of the referee. The competition committee looked at it and wanted to keep the rules fair for all teams, as well as make sure the health and safety of players were not jeopardized. We looked at it very carefully to take it out the game. Rules have to be applied to every player the same. There are no exceptions.”

Green also said that Harden’s moves at the hoop should be classified as “unnatural” as well. VanDeWeghe argued that the difference is Green’s kicks have the “potential of injuring somebody:”

“The big difference becomes safety and the potential of injuring somebody,” he said. “That’s the big difference. Players embellish contact to draw attention. It’s gotten better since instituting the flopping rule on defense. But if a player flails his arms and strikes a player in the face, then that’s a cause for concern. It’s not one particular player or two. The competition committee spent a lot of time looking at this, and we decided that if the move doesn’t justify the movement, then we have to act.”

Green’s agent, BJ Armstrong, lashed out via USA Today, saying that he “can’t recall when [the NBA] actually made rules that have helped to improve the game of basketball:”

“The fact that everyone is trying to cover their positions or justifying why they did what they did, the (league’s perspective) was kind of disappointing from this viewpoint: Since I’ve been a part of this league, I can’t recall when they’ve actually made rules that have actually helped to improve the game of basketball.
“Every move has been made with some motive, to make the game look a certain way, to speed the game up, to do all of these things. But what, when the competition committee — whoever those people are — what have they actually done to improve the game of basketball? … Not to put more people in the stands, not to make the game more appealing for people globally. What has been done to improve the game of basketball? That’s it. That’s it. That’s my only question.”

The saga continues.

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James Harden Responds to Draymond Green, ‘I’m a Trendsetter’

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