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Draymond Green tried to de-escalate Isaiah Stewart tiff before ejection: “I said, ‘Chill out, bro”


SAN FRANCISCO — Draymond Green wasn’t happy. He watched the Saddiq Bey’s buzzer-beating game-winner from the locker room, ejected after being assessed his second technical foul with a minute and 24 seconds remaining.

Not only did he miss the crucial seconds of the Warriors’ furious late comeback on Wednesday night — fallen just short despite Klay Thompson’s game-tying 3 pointer with six seconds left on the clock — but he’d received his 12th technical foul of the year. He’s four shy of a game suspension.

And this one was unwarranted, if you ask Green and his coach. Warriors down five, Pistons center Isaiah Stewart and Green got tangled up on a box out. Stewart grabbed Green by the jersey and pulled him in, at which point Green says he tried to de-escalate the altercation. Green didn’t retaliate.

“I said, ‘Chill out, bro. Chill out, bro.’ I’m on that type of time, Chill out, Bro. Chill out, Bro,” Green said.

“Make a choice, make a decision. One thing I can guarantee you it wasn’t a double tech so just make a choice. That’s it.”

Nothing was called initially after the two separated, but referees reviewed the play and issued a double technical foul on Stewart and Green. Green had a technical against him late in the first half, dinged for getting in the referees’ ears on an inbound play.

But for coach Steve Kerr and Green, officials shouldn’t call double technical late in the game knowing at least one side had a technical against him already.

Green has a storied history with technical and flagrant fouls, flirting often with suspensions but hasn’t gone over the limit for a regular season game punishment. He was suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals in 2016 after being retroactively assessed his third flagrant foul of that postseason.

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With the season just two games shy of reaching its half point, Green’s technical foul count could be of concern. But Kerr isn’t worried.

“No, he’s never gone over. He knows where the line is,” he said. “In my mind, it’s like, do we have to call a double technical and eject a guy from the game because two guys in a really competitive game in the most competitive basketball league on earth? Oh my, who knew they were actually going to get a little upset with each other. Like this is the game. It’s what people pay to see, competition in its highest form.

“So to come out of a timeout, we’ve already drawn up our play, Draymond’s on the floor and then we go to inbound the ball and they tell us Draymond has been ejected. That’s a tough one. I haven’t experienced that before. And I prefer in those situations where the officials have the awareness that somebody’s got a T, we’re going to kick him out because two guys get into a little yelling match or whatever it was. If it’s earned, it’s earned. And maybe I’m totally wrong and if I’m wrong then that’s my fault. But I don’t really believe there should be double technicals that lead to an ejection for that.”

Green was a little more cynical.

“I’m going to get suspended for a game anyways because of what’s happened in the past with referees so you stop talking to him you still get techs,” he said. “So I’m going to get suspended anyways. It is what it is.”

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