OKLAHOMA CITY — Draymond Green repeated his assertion that his kick to the groin of Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams was accidental, while also pushing back against Russell Westbrook‘s statement that he thought the kick was intentional.
“You know Russell [Westbrook] said I did it on purpose, but he’s a part of the superstar group that started all this acting in the NBA,” Green said Monday before the Golden State Warriors‘ practice in Oklahoma City. “I didn’t. So, I sold the call. [The official] called me that way. I sold the call.”
Westbrook responded to Green’s comment on “acting” by telling reporters he doesn’t even know how to flop.
“I’ve never been fined for one flop since I’ve been playing in the NBA … I don’t know how to flop,” he said. “Seems like he was the one flailing and kicking his legs out yesterday. It wasn’t me.”
Westbrook said he wasn’t surprised Green brought his name up, saying Green was trying to take the heat off himself.
Green was adamant that NBA official Scott Foster believed the contact incidental.
“I said, ‘Scott, how am I getting a flagrant because my leg went in the air trying to follow through on a shot?’ He said, ‘Draymond, I’m not saying it’s intentional. Honestly, I don’t think it was intentional at all. But, you caught him in the groin area, so I have to give you a flagrant,'” Green said. “I didn’t argue it. It said, ‘OK, that’s understandable.'”
Green is awaiting word from the NBA on whether his flagrant 1 will be upgraded to a suspension. Green said that the prospect of being suspended “sucks” but acknowledged that there is “nothing I can do about it.”
The kick occurred with 5:57 remaining in the second quarter of Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday night. Oklahoma City routed Golden State, 133-105, to take a 2-1 series lead over the top-seeded Warriors.
When asked if he’s “bracing for the worst” in terms of punishment, Green said he was not.
“Russell Westbrook kicked me at the end of the half,” Green said. “He just didn’t happen to catch me where I happened to caught Steve Adams at. So, no, I’m not bracing for the worst.”
Adams, who said he was a “bit sore,” said he will consider wearing a cup “due to the consistency of the hits.”
“I didn’t see the Dahntay Jones incident, but from what I heard, is he punched him,” Green said. “If I come punch you in your head, I probably did that on purpose, because I’m going to intentionally use my arm. I don’t think you can ever really compare a leg to an arm.
“You know, there’s multiple plays where — I did it later in the game — where I got fouled and my right leg went up. I always do it.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked about the incident and another in Game 2, where Green’s knee struck Adams’ groin on a drive.
“I don’t understand the argument that this has happened twice,” Kerr said. “He went up for a shot. I don’t think you can equate the two. When you go up for a shot and a guy’s challenging, that happens all the time. So this is not like, he did this twice. I don’t agree with that.”
Kerr also compared the incident to another groin strike involving Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka two years ago, when the Thunder forward drew no suspension.
“I was doing TV two years ago when Serge clocked Blake Griffin on an offensive rebound,” Kerr said. “He just punched him. There was frustration and those two have gotten into over the years, I know. It’s a competitive game — guys are talking trash out there.
“You know, it’s high-level intensity. There’s frustration. Like I said, there’s also a lot of flailing. A lot of flopping. This league is rampant with flailing with arms and legs trying to draw fouls. Every game you watch, guys are doing that. And sometimes that can lead to contact. It’s all part of it.”
Kerr also compared Green’s leg kick to Westbrook’s foul-drawing maneuvers.
“He tried to sell it,” Kerr said of Green. “He kicked his leg up. To me, it’s no different from Westbrook kicking his legs out on the 3s when he feels like there’s contact.”
ESPN’s Tim McMahon contributed to this report.