Draymond Green was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul by the league office after Game 4 of the NBA Finals and subsequently issued a one-game suspension.
Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy believes that the league's decision was inspired by its desire to extend the series.
“I think when you look at the overt acts that Green has committed before, they were definitely more severe than this act, and yet he’s going to end up with a flagrant foul and suspension because of it,” Donaghy told Sports Illustrated. “In the past, I believe it was disregarded because [the Warriors] were down in the series. Here, they’re up in the series, so I think it’s a situation where, with that, it gives Cleveland a better chance of prolonging the series.”
Donaghy also insinuated that the NBA encourages its referees to favor the team that is trailing in a playoff series.
“Definitely indirectly with the tape sessions that took place and how they would show you plays that they wanted you to concentrate on in the game that,” Donaghy told SI. “It was always a situation where the team down in the series was going to benefit from those calls.”
Donaghy's 13-year career as an NBA referee came to an end in 2007 when his involvement in a gambling scandal was revealed.
The Warriors lead the NBA Finals 3-2 and will have Green back in the lineup for Game 6 Thursday in Cleveland.