Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr went ballistic over a flagrant foul call on forward Draymond Green in a 129-107 loss at the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.
The play happened with 3:54 left in the game with Portland leading 110-103. Zach Collins was driving into the lane when Green reached across to slap the ball away from Collins.
It looked like Green got him across the arm and with the body, but he did go for the ball and managed to knock it away.
This is the flagrant foul that led to Steve Kerr spiking his clipboard and getting tossed. pic.twitter.com/3FK224Wuhn
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 14, 2019
It was initially called a foul, but then the refs huddled and upgraded it to a flagrant one. That set Kerr off.
He threw down his clipboard and had some choice words for referee Kenny Mauer. Mauer immediately ejected him from the game, but Kerr kept going. He had to be restrained and led away by Kevin Durant.
“I was just shocked that that was called a flagrant foul,” said Kerr after the game.
Steve Kerr on his ejection, spiking the clipboard and not exactly getting an explanation from Ken Mauer since he was yelling pic.twitter.com/6nMx8pEsJQ
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 14, 2019
“But that’s … that was head-scratching that that could be called a flagrant foul. I mean, the guy is going to go in for a dunk. You got to make sure he doesn’t dunk it, so I told Kenny (Mauer) I beg to differ,” said Kerr.
It was questionable as a flagrant foul. Twenty years ago, that’s just a foul, but that’s not the case in today’s NBA.
The NBA defines it as such: “A flagrant foul-penalty (1) is unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent. A flagrant foul-penalty (2) is unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent. It is an unsportsmanlike act and the offender is ejected immediately.”
That did not look like unnecessary contact by Green. He was going for the ball and was trying to keep Collins from driving the lane.
So while Kerr has a point, his reaction was definitely over the top — particularly the clipboard spike.
“I forgot about that part,” said Kerr, referring to the clipboard.
“There might have been a couple other words in there, too. I’m going to have to ask the owner if the clipboard broke when I threw it down. But I got a little anger out so that was good.”
That was indeed a turning point as Damian Lillard hit all three technical fouls (Green got one, too) and then Collins hit his two free throws to make it 115-103. Then Jake Layman hit a three-pointer when the Blazers got the ball back on the technical fouls. It was essentially an 8-point play that broke open the game to give Portland a 118-103 lead.
“I got a lot of ball,” Green said after the game, according to ESPN. “I don’t know, it’s the Draymond rule.”
But he liked that Kerr had his back.
“That was amazing. It’s great. He set the tone for us to close the game the way we did. It was good,” Green said.
“I got a tech also for standing there — that probably should be a delay of game, not a tech. You can’t give somebody a tech because they’re standing there, that’s a delay of game. But whatever.
“Probably a Draymond Green rule, too.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.