NBA Fines Draymond Green $50K For Devin Booker Comments

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  • Draymond Green has been fined $50K for tampering.
  • Green suggested on national TV that Devin Booker should leave Phoenix for his career to flourish.
  • The NBA has adopted stricter tampering rules this season to protect the integrity of the league.

The NBA has fined Golden State Warriors Draymond Green $50K for tampering. Green made “controversial” comments about Suns’ guard Devin Booker while serving as a TNT TV analyst during Friday’s TV broadcast.

Tampering

“It’s great to see Book playing well and Phoenix playing well, but get my man out of Phoenix. It’s not good for him, it’s not good for his career. Sorry Chuck, but they got to get Book out of Phoenix. I need my man to go somewhere where he can play great basketball all the time and win, because he’s that type of player.”

When TNT’s Ernie Johnson asked him if whether his comments tantamounted to “tampering”, Green said “maybe”. But while he was unsure, The NBA was 100% certain. The league found Green guilty of tampering.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has stressed that he doesn’t want high-profile stars urging other players to leave their organization on national TV. Silver believed that “slippage and leakage” around the league’s free agency deadlines were hurting the “perception of integrity in the league”. Hence the NBA’s Board of Governors unanimously approved stricter measures for conduct relating to tampering, salary cap circumvention, and free agency timing rules, including with respect to player-to-player tampering. The fine amount is the maximum the NBA can give before a player can file a grievance.

Green however, just “laughed off” the fine:

No Laughing Matter

Devin Booker though is not laughing matter. The Suns’ 23-year old star is one of the top scorers in Orlando. Booker has scored at least 30 points in three out of the Suns’ first five seeding games with the Suns going unbeaten so far. Booker is averaging 26.4 points and 6.6 assists per game this year and he is on course to join Oscar Robertson and LeBron James as the only players in league history to have multiple seasons with 26 points and 6 assists average before the age of 24.

Booker has averaged at least 22 points per game in each of the last four seasons. However, he’s been often “overlooked” while playing for a Suns team that has not had a winning season since he came in 2015. Things changed this season though as he finally earned his first All-Star selection. And with Phoenix surprising the other 21 teams in the bubble, Booker is the toast of the town.

Entering Monday’s games, D-Book has been putting up 29.4 points in the bubble and he has surpassed his season scoring average in four out of the five games they have played. Booker scored 35 points each against top defensive teams Miami and the L.A. Clippers, including the cold- blooded buzzer-beater against the latter.

Not Going Anywhere

While Green thinks that he is better off somewhere, Booker is not going anywhere. The former 13th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft out of Kentucky signed an extension in 2018 that will keep him in the Valley of the Suns until the 2023-24 season. Booker said that the bubble tournament has been a “turning point” for the organization and he plans to reward the fans who have stuck with the Suns throughout the years:

“Since I’ve been in Phoenix, we haven’t had the win success that we had, but the support’s been there. And this is what we owe to the fans, we owe to the organization. It’s been a long time for us and I think this bubble opportunity was big for us, and we’re taking advantage of it.”

Perhaps Green was hoping Booker would do a Kevin Durant soon. However, it seems that D-Book is staying in Phoenix, at least for now.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher.