(Reuters) - Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green escaped a possible one-game suspension on Monday when he was fined by the National Basketball Association for a flagrant foul that was upgraded from category 1 to 2.
Green faced the chance of being banned for Tuesday’s Game Four of the Western Conference Finals against Oklahoma City after he had kicked Thunder center Steven Adams in the groin during Sunday’s Game Three.
However, the league instead decided to fine Green $25,000 after reviewing the play and upgrading his foul.
“After a thorough investigation that included review of all available video angles and interviews with the players involved and the officials working the game, we have determined that Green’s foul was unnecessary and excessive and warranted the upgrade and fine,” Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations, said in a statement.
“During a game, players - at times - flail their legs in an attempt to draw a foul, but Green’s actions in this case warranted an additional penalty.”
The incident occurred with 5:57 left in the second quarter of the Thunder’s 133-105 win over the defending NBA champion Warriors in Oklahoma City that put them 2-1 ahead in the best-of-seven series.
“The way I look it, it looks intentional to me,” Thunder guard Russell Westbrook told reporters about Green’s play after the game.
However, Warriors coach Steve Kerr described the play as ”inadvertent“, saying: ”I was shocked they even looked at it. There is inadvertent contact all the time on plays.
“So that really surprised. I would think they would rescind it. This stuff happens all the time.”
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Larry Fine