Cleveland Cavaliers icon LeBron James and Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green famously ramped up the rivalry between their two teams last June during the flagrant foul controversy that earned Green a one-game suspension and changed the course of the instantly legendary 2016 NBA Finals. The two opened another chapter in that relationship on Monday — this time involving a flagrant foul once again.
With a little under seven minutes remaining in the second quarter of the teams’ second matchup this season, Green collided with James while attempting to disrupt a fast break. The contact sent James flying to the floor, after which Cavs forward Richard Jefferson got in the face of Green to set off a minor argument. Draymond eventually extricated himself from the situation, but not before flailing his arms in mockery of LeBron’s attempt to sell the foul. Take a look:
And here’s another look at just Green’s attempt to poke fun at James:
Referees initially called a flagrant-1 foul on Green and upheld that call on review. They also gave him and Jefferson technical fouls. Most observers saw a bit of a flop from James, but the nature of Green’s foul and the aftermath made it difficult to quibble with the call too much. That sort of play fairly regularly gets tagged with a flagrant in this era of the NBA. (It’s also worth noting that Green and James are friendly off the court and work together on the Uninterrupted athlete video-streaming service.)
A photo posted by Ball Don't Lie (@yahooballdontlie) on Jan 17, 2017 at 7:32am PST
The immediate impact for the Warriors was bad — LeBron split his flagrant free throws, and Kyrie Irving added another freebie following a defensive three-seconds call on the subsequent possession to cut the margin to 15 points.
However, the Cavaliers’ surge proved shortlived. The Warriors continued to control the game and cruised to a 126-91 win. Green bounced back just fine, too — he finished with 11 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists, five blocks, and no turnovers.
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