Adam Silver discusses Vegas, Draymond suspension, hack-a-bad shooter
NBA commissioner Adam Silver joined the show to talk about big issues facing the League – including Las Vegas as a site for expansion, why Draymond Green was suspended and what he plans to do about intentional fouling poor free-throw shooters. Here are some of his remarks:
DP: Reggie Miller suggested that Draymond Green doesn’t get suspended if the series was tied at 2-2 instead of a 3-1 Golden State lead. Jeff Van Gundy came on the show and said he agreed with Reggie. Your reaction to that when you saw that or heard about it.
AS: I saw it. And I disagree with both of them. Just to be absolutely clear we did not suspend Draymond Green. We upgraded an act on the floor to a Flagrant 1. As Draymond has acknowledged he put himself in that situation. By virtue of his having gotten a flagrant 1 he exceeded the number of flagrant points you could get throughout the playoffs and not get suspended. So in other words once he got the flagrant one having already had 3 flagrant foul points throughout the playoffs that put him over the limit and he was automatically suspended for the next game. And then so the question becomes should we not have given him the flagrant 1 knowing that the outcome would be for him to be suspended. And I could only imagine what people would have said on the other side of the argument, had we not given the flagrant when we saw an act. To Draymond’s credit he acknowledged it, there was no dispute as to what happened. The referees did not see it on the floor. There’s also no question. They didn’t see it and decide it wasn’t a flagrant. they didn’t see that act when he swiped over at Lebron [James] and hit him in the groin area. And that is a flagrant in our league. I will say in the case of Draymond I think he knows it that he wasn’t about to get the benefit of the doubt either based on his prior conduct. And the purpose of that rule… And by the way in terms of Reggie [Miller] or Jeff Van Gundy, I’m fine with the conversation and If people want to disagree with it. But the theory behind having in essence progressive discipline by having it act in a cumulative way was to disincentive guys from committing those acts over and over again. And it’s one of the reasons why we don’t reset after every round of the playoffs. We don’t want guys to think alright I got a few flagrant I can get. Oh greta I can start over I’ll get a few flagrants more. As you know the genesis of these rules… And by the way for those who have been criticizing these rules, they’ve been in place for about 20 years now. And the purpose of these rules was to cut down on the amount of fighting on the floor. As you know from the old days in the NBA fights use to break out all the time. I know you have the images of David Stern court side. There’s some great video of him where players are spilling into the stands. Other times where they’re showing the look on his face as players are swingings punches at each other and the idea was there’s no place in our game for that. So one of the ways we felt we can crack down on that. And I was at the league when these rules were put in place. Was to highly disincentive guys from committing flagrant fouls which you know can lead to players retaliating. And even Draymond so called swipe. He’s doing that in retaliation from Lebron standing over him
DP: But is the groin different Commissioner? And I’m not being lighthearted with this. But that area is different than if he took a swipe at his back or his knee or his ankle.
AS: Yeah. Yes the head and groin are different and always have been in this league. And you have to assume there’s a reason to why players take shots at other players groins or possibly there heads as opposed to a guys back. And I’d say where Draymond loses the benefit of the doubt here is lets just say and I’m not saying Draymond said this but that Lebron just happen to turn at the last second and he hit him in the groin instead of the stomach or instead of the shoulder. The fact is this has been conduct that has been on going throughout the playoffs and again that’s the purpose of these rules. And it was for us at the league office the last thing we want to do of course is impact the competition by suspending a player especially a during fantastic finals like this. But we have to call em how we see them. And again I hear Reggie and Jeff Van Gundy but the notion we sit around in the league office, yeah do we take big gulp and say welp we’re adding up the flagrant points. And well this a Flagrant 1 that means he’s at four that means he’s getting suspended. Of course we’re aware of that. But I can just imagine if we said yeah he did it but eh it’s such a great matchup it’s unfair to the fans to have to lose and all star player in the middle of a great series like this we won’t do it. There would of been just as much out cry from the other side.