After Great In-Season Tournament, the NBA Is Embarrassing Itself

Draymond Green was suspended indefinitely by the NBA on Wednesday

Draymond Green of the Warriors reacts after being ejected.
Draymond Green may not be with the Warriors for a long time.
Christian Petersen/Getty

Following the conclusion of its successful (and inaugural) In-Season Tournament on Saturday night, the NBA has generally been an embarrassment with former champions Draymond Green and Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the way.

Green, who is not even close to passing Rasheed Wallace on the NBA’s all-time ejections list (29), was tossed from a game for the second this season and 19th time in his career after he hit Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic in the face. The 33-year-old Golden State Warrior, who was handed a Flagrant 2 foul before his ejection, was suspended indefinitely by the NBA on Wednesday. “That had nothing to do with basketball,” Nurkic said of Green’s actions afterward. “I’m just out there trying to play basketball.”

A four-time NBA champion with the Warriors and undeniably a key component of Golden State’s dynasty, Green has increasingly become a headache for his team and the league. Before he can play in again following his “repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts,” Green will be “required to meet certain league and team conditions,” according to a statement from the NBA.

While Green should certainly be back playing for Golden State at some point, the NBA will probably take its time in reinstating him as he has become increasingly violent (at least by NBA standards) on the court and increasingly unlikable away from the hardwood.

A player who has been incredibly likable throughout his career, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo contributed to an already embarrassing week for the NBA last night after he scored a career-high 64 points in a 140-126 win for the Bucks over the Indiana Pacers. A former champion, Antetokounmpo became upset after the game ball vanished into the Pacers’ locker room, and he rushed from the court before arguing with members of Indiana’s team in an attempt to retrieve it.

While Antetokounmpo probably should have been given the ball, Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said the Pacers took the ball for Oscar Tshiebwe, who scored his first official NBA point. Flimsy as that excuse is for the obvious attempt to needle Antetokounmpo, he should have accepted it as he has a maximum contract and an NBA championship and doesn’t really need a game ball, no matter how significant it is. Afterward, even though he supposedly got the ball, Antetokounmpo was not impressed.

“I have no idea. I’m not going to lie,” Antetokounmpo said. “I have no idea. I don’t know. I really don’t know. I have a ball, but I don’t know if it’s the game ball. It doesn’t feel like the game ball to me. It feels like a brand new ball. I can tell. I played, what, 35 minutes today. I know how the game ball felt. The ball that I have, which I’ll take and I’ll give it to my mom for sure, but I don’t know if it’s actually the game ball.”

Milwaukee’s Damian Lillard, whose career-high for points is 71 and moved past Kyle Korver for fifth place in NBA history last night with the 2,451st 3-pointer of his career, seemed less than impressed with his teammate’s antics.

America’a clear-cut favorite behind the NFL, the NBA is generally an awesome product and has plenty of players who can put butts in seats. Antetokounmpo and Green are typically two of those players and are usually great, but all they’ve been this week is embarrassing — for the NBA and themselves.

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