'Garbage' bans for brawlers make Green see red

LOS ANGELES • Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green believes that the three players who were suspended for a brawl during the Houston Rockets' 124-115 National Basketball Association (NBA) win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday have gotten off lightly.

The Lakers' Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo were banned for four and three games respectively while Rockets guard Chris Paul was hit with a two-game suspension following their fourth-quarter punch-up.

Both Ingram and Rondo were seen throwing punches while Rondo was also found to have spat at Paul, who was sanctioned for throwing "multiple punches" and poking Rondo in the face.

Green, however, accused the league of a disciplinary "double standard" and claimed that the trio were given a slap on the wrist.

In an interview on Monday, the three-time All-Star slammed the punishments as "garbage" while referencing his one-game ban, which was imposed for trying to punch then Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James in the groin during the 2016 NBA Finals.

"I'm never in favour of guys losing money. But I got suspended in the NBA Finals for attempting to punch somebody," he said.

"Guys punching each other are getting two games or three games. I attempted to punch somebody, and not in the face either.

"It seems like a bit of a double standard going around this thing."

Ingram, the instigator of the melee, admitted that he thought the league would come down harder on him and the forward was contrite for sparking the fracas.

"Well, it was better than we expected," he told ESPN. "I'm happy it's only four but I know I've got to control my emotions a little better.

"I'm the one that caused (the) action and I'm going to take full responsibility. A 100 per cent that I was wrong, but I stepped up for my teammates and that is what I'm going to do 10 times out of 10."

Rondo, however, stayed tight-lipped when asked about the incident.

"It's best for me not to talk about the situation," he said. "Everyone knows who I am, my team. And I think they (the Lakers) still respect me for what I do and what I bring to this team."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2018, with the headline ''Garbage' bans for brawlers make Green see red'. Print Edition | Subscribe