In an interview with Sports Illustrated, former and disgraced NBA referee, Tim Donaghy, stated that “there is no doubt in his mind” that the league suspended Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green for game five of the NBA Finals in order to prolong the series. Without Green, the Warriors fell 112-97 after a huge performance by both Kyrie Irving and LeBron James (82 combined points), sending the series back to Cleveland for a sixth game on Thursday night.
— SI NBA (@si_nba) June 13, 2016
According to Donaghy, the overall flow of the game and the foul calls that have been made by the officials in this series have been designed to be one-sided depending on who is up/down in the series.
“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. 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.”
It really is amazing that the day after arguably the best performance of Kyrie Irving’s career, which helped keep the Cavaliers alive and the city of Cleveland from again having its hearts broken, we are sitting here talking about comments made from a scumbag like Tim Donaghy instead of praising Irving and the Cavs on giving us more basketball to watch. Sure, the Draymond Green suspension may seem a bit odd in terms of its timing, and, seeing how the NBA is the only one of the major four American sports to ever have been caught with its officials fixing games, it would be easy to assume that something was up. However, like it or not, Draymond Green’s suspension lined up with the league’s protocol on flagrant foul points. No matter what your opinion may be on LeBron James stepping over Draymond Green in game four, it would be irrational to say that James deserved to be hit bellow the belt by Green, who has a history of giving low blows to opponents. Draymond Green was lucky that the NBA didn’t levy a suspension to him after his low blow to OKC’s Steven Adams in the Western Conference Finals. Not only was this low hit by Draymond on LeBron the final straw in Green’s chippy 2016 postseason, but the league’s review of the play and assessment of a flagrant 1 put Green over the limit for flagrant foul points. Dislike the ruling all you want, but an intentional low blow to an opponent should almost always result in, at least, a flagrant 1. And, if said low blow puts said player above the limit for flagrant foul points, they absolutely deserve to be suspended for one game no matter what the stage may be. The fact that it took Draymond Green this long to receive a suspension after multiple low blows to opponents is pretty bizarre, but justice seems to have finally caught up to him.
The last person that anybody should ever believe when it comes to this type of stuff is Tim freakin’ Donaghy. We aren’t talking about a guy who used to ref some games where other officials were fixing the outcomes of the match. We are talking about a guy who has been convicted of multiple crimes due to his involvement in the gambling ring that occurred in the NBA from 2006-2008 and spent 15 months in prison because of it. People may think “oh, Tim Donaghy might be a scumbag liar, but if there is anybody who knows how dirty the NBA can be it’s him.” But in reality, Tim Donaghy has ZERO credibility when it comes to anything, especially matters that involve how the NBA handles disciplining players and the myth that games have a fixed outcome. Tim Donaghy acted as an independent party due to a gambling addiction when he decided to fix the outcome of games from 2006-2008. He was not instructed to do so by ex-NBA commissioner, David Stern. Taking advice from Tim Donaghy on the NBA fixing games is like taking advice on how to run a clean organization from Sepp Blatter. You just absolutely cannot do it.
Normally, SI has its act together when it comes to interviewing people and getting the right insight on situations around the sports world. In fact, they are probably one of, if not the best at what they do. But, someone may want to have a nice little talk with the genius over there who decided that allowing the most Benedict Arnold-like figure in NBA history to come in and give his input on games getting fixed was a good idea.