Is the “Star Treatment” a real thing? The answer is yes and no where is it more prevalent than in the NBA. This was proved yet again today by the decision not to suspend Draymond Green for his actions Sunday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
During game three of the Western Conference Finals for the NBA there was a moment provided by one Warriors star that had the NBA community up in arms. Draymond Green went up for a layup, however he was stripped of the ball on the way up and then he became the top story of the day. When he reached the top of his jump he kicked out his leg and struck the groin area of Thunder center Stephen Adams. It was enough for the officials to give Green a Flagrant 1 foul for his actions. The next evening the NBA decided that they were upgrading the foul to a Flagrant 2 but they would not suspend the Warriors star for game four of the WCF.
This incident occurred mere hours after the NBA announced they were suspending Cavaliers reserve player Dahntay Jones one game for striking Bismark Biyombo in the groin area the night before in Toronto. Jones did not receive a foul on the play but did draw the attention of Raptors coach Dwane Casey who was fined for his post-game comments about the officials and more specifically about the play that left his big man crumpled on the ground.
Now both of these incidents involved a strike to the groin from one player to another and should therefore be treated the same, right? Wrong, the NBA was too worried about the quality of the WCF game four to let a star like Draymond Green miss the game, but who would notice if a reserve like Dahntay Jones missed game four in the East. However it should not matter how good or popular a player is when determining their punishment for their actions. If one player does something that deserves a suspension and then another player does a similar thing then they should be punished similarly. However on Monday May 23, 2016 the NBA decided that that is not how punishment works. They decided that an actual punishment on the player would result in punishment for the teammates of Green and fans of the Warriors, but what about the teammates and fans of Dahntay Jones and fans of the Cavaliers?
Giving the suspension to Green would force him to think about the consequences of his actions next time he gets mad about being stripped of the ball. He may not realize it but a lot of young players look up to him an idol. Kids are easily impressionable, especially when it comes to watching their idols and seeing him not have to face the punishment for kicking another player in the groin could be an extremely bad example for young kids.
Was giving Dahntay Jones a suspension for his actions warranted, yes. Was Green deserving of a similar penalty for his actions, yes. That is how you prove that stars are just like everyone else.