Former NBA official: League suspended Draymond Green to keep NBA Finals going

Posted at 12:27 PM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-15 15:29:54-04

Tim Donaghy will forever live in infamy among NBA fans, especially those who support the Phoenix Suns.

Donaghy, who spent 13 seasons as an NBA official, was fired and served over a year in prison after it was revealed he had bet on multiple playoff games he officiated. Specifically, Donaghy made some dubious calls that went against the Suns during their 2007 Western Conference Semifinals series against the San Antonio Spurs -- a series the Suns went on to lose.

For this reason, Donaghy made our list of the top five Phoenix Suns villains of all-time.

Keep all of that in mind as you read the following:

On Tuesday, Donaghy asserted the NBA suspended Golden State Warriors All-Star Draymond Green for Game 5 of the NBA Finals not because it was the right thing to do, but because the NBA's powers that be wanted the Finals to continue.

Donaghy's theory goes like this: The Warriors led the Cleveland Cavaliers three games to one in their best-of-seven series, and it sure looked like the Warriors would cruise to a Game 5 victory at home Monday night and celebrate their second straight NBA title.

So, Donaghy asserts the NBA wielded its power by retroactively assessing Green a flagrant foul for this unfortunate slap of LeBron in Game 4.

That foul, combined with previous infractions (including a similar foul against an Oklahoma City player in the Western Conference Finals), warranted a suspension, according to the NBA.

But according to Donaghy, Green's suspension wasn't in the name of justice, but in the name of profit. He believes the move was intended to help the Cavs overcome Golden State in Game 5 (which they did) and prolong a series that, through four games, hadn't included as much intrigue or drama as the NBA would have liked.

“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.”

But Donaghy didn't stop there. He went on to suggest officials are often instructed to provide an assist to teams who trail in a best-of-seven playoff series.

“It was always a situation where the team down in the series was going to benefit from those calls," he said.

So... Is Donaghy on to something? Or is the man who has profited from his disgraced exit from the NBA simply looking to remain relevant? You make the call.

In any event: Shady circumstances or not, Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals will take place Thursday at 6 p.m. on ABC15.