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#pounditSunday, October 17, 2021

Draymond Green: Finals suspension last year ‘woke me up’

Draymond Green

Getting suspended in the NBA Finals last year was apparently Draymond Green’s call to conversion.

In an interview with Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports that ran on Sunday, the Warriors forward reflected on his ban for Game 5 of the 2016 Finals.

“I’ll never forget that night,” said Green. “That’s a big night in my life. It’s something that changed me. It’s something that woke me up, something that taught me a lot, so I appreciate it. I’m not one of those guys who’s bitter that something bad happens to me. I use it, take the lesson from it, and move on.”

Green drew the suspension last year after striking LeBron James in the groin in Game 4. He had also gotten in trouble the round before for two separate incidents where he kicked Thunder center Steven Adams in the groin.

The Warriors were up 3-1 in the Finals at the time of Green’s ban, and they went on to lose Game 5 without him. They also lost Games 6 and 7 with Green back in the lineup (despite a monstrous 32-point, 15-rebound, nine-assist showing from the two-time All-Star in that Game 7), as it became clear that Golden State’s collapse was brought about in no small part by his suspension.

While Green has still had a tendency this year of falling back into his old bad habits, the opportunity for redemption is finally here now that the Warriors are playing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals once again. The team will be hoping that Green is indeed a changed man as they look to bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy back to the Bay Area.

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