Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy believes that the league decided to suspend Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green to give the Cleveland Cavaliers a better chance to extend the NBA Finals.
Speaking on SI Now, Donaghy, who was forced out of the league in 2007 after his involvement in a gambling scheme was discovered, said that the NBA indirectly acts to increase the entertainment value of games.
“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 said. “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 said that it seemed referees were instructed to favor teams down in a series while he was still officiating.
“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 said. “It was always a situation where the team down in the series was going to benefit from those calls.”
Green was assessed a flagrant 1 foul and given a mandatory one game suspension after hitting LeBron James in the groin while James attempted to step over him.
The Warriors currently lead the Series 3–2 after losing Game 5 in Green’s absence on Monday night. The Cavaliers will host Golden State for Game 6 on Thursday.