Draymond Green Suspended to ‘Prolong’ NBA Finals, Says Disgraced Former Ref

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (R) shoots the ball in front of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (L) during Game 3 of the NBA Finals in Cleveland, Ohio on June 8, 2016

OAKLAND, Calif., June 14 (UPI) — Consider the source, but former referee Tim Donaghy claims that the NBA suspended Draymond Green to prolong the NBA Finals.

“I think when you look at the overt acts that Green has committed before, they were definitely more severe than this act, and yet he’s going to end up with a flagrant foul and suspension because of it,” Donaghy told Sports Illustrated. “In the past, I believe it was disregarded because [the Warriors] were down in the series. Here, they’re up in the series, so I think it’s a situation where, with that, it gives Cleveland a better chance of prolonging the series.”

Green was suspended for the Golden State Warriors’ 112-97 loss Monday to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. He was hit with the suspension early Monday after having a Game 4 foul upgraded to a flagrant foul one. The flagrant foul, combined with another from a Western Conference Finals game, sent Green to a one-game suspension.

Donaghy is the same guy who resigned in 2007 after the FBI contacted NBA commissioner David Stern about a referee being involved in a gambling operation. Donaghy later pleaded guilty for conspiring to engage in a wire fraud and transmitting betting information with interstate commerce. He served 13 months of a 15-month sentence in federal prison.

Donaghy maintained that he never betted on games that he worked, while putting money on contests for four years. Court documents later showed that he told gambling associated the specific crews who would be officiating games, and other sensitive information.

“Definitely indirectly with the tape sessions that took place and how they would show you plays that they wanted you to concentrate on in the game that,” Donaghy told Sports Illustrated. “It was always a situation where the team down in the series was going to benefit from those calls.”

The Warriors have another chance to clinch back-to-back NBA championships when it faces the Cavaliers in Game 6 at 9 p.m. June 16 in Cleveland.


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