Sometimes an answer to a question just leads to more questions.
That is certainly the case in the aftermath of one of the most bizarre ejections in recent history, that took place in the Warriors’ 119-104 loss to the Knicks on Thursday. Late in the second quarter, Draymond Green was issued his second technical foul and tossed after yelling at teammate James Wiseman for a miscommunication over an entry pass turned turnover. Official John Butler apparently thought that Green was yelling at him, and issued the technical accordingly, despite the fact that Green and all of the Golden State players and coaches attempted to explain what actually happened.
We now have confirmation that the official indeed misread the situation according to Steve Kerr.
“At halftime Ben Taylor came out and told me that it was a mistake,” Kerr said. “That John Butler didn’t realize that Draymond was yelling at his teammate. He thought he was yelling at him.”
Well that answers that. But why didn’t the officials reverse the call once it became clear they made a mistake? The answer to that question remains less clear.
When asked by the pool reporter after the game “Did you consider rescinding the second technical foul after hearing their explanation?” Taylor responded: “No we did not.”
POOL REPORT ON SECOND TECHNICAL FOUL WITH 1:04 REMAINING TO PLAY IN THE SECOND QUARTER OF THE NEW YORK KNICKS/GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS GAME: pic.twitter.com/dVgsOHQ2KK
— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) January 22, 2021
Confused? So is Draymond Green, who did not speak with reporters postgame, but did text Marcus J. Spears of ESPN his thoughts.
“I’m just a bit confused,” Draymond wrote. “Officials can meet and make a decision on any call throughout the game, but when it comes to a technical that was clearly the wrong call due to an official assuming I was talking to him when in fact I wasn’t, that can’t be overturned? Maybe it’s time to take a look at that rule. I would love clarity on why that’s the rule, if in fact it is a rule.”
“I would also like to know what happens with something like that? That can’t just be ok. That one game can determine a lot for us. Also for the morale of very young team. Tough tough situation.”
Wiseman was just as surprised that Green was ejected.
“Really just because I was trying to get a post up, but [Green] threw it too early,” Wiseman explained. “And just one of those moments where he was like “Catch the ball!” or something like that. But that’s all really. I don’t understand the situation, like why the ref did that, but I guess it’s basketball. but I was confused myself as well … that was kind of weird. That was a weird moment.”
The league will almost certainly rescind the technical foul, which would leave Green with two on the season. Green would have to accumulate 16 technical fouls before being issued a one-game suspension.