“There are multiple plays where I did it later in the game when I got fouled and my right leg went up,” Draymond Green said, explaining the controversial play where he kicked Thunder center Steven Adams in the groin. “I always do it… I sold the call,” Green said. That means, of course, that he added superfluous body action to make it look like he got hit harder than he actually did — if he got hit at all. It’s called flopping. And the refs very often buy it, because NBA players like Green are excellent salesmen. When Green sells a foul, he’s hardly unique. Most players do it, from Hall of Famer turned announcer Reggie Miller (an artist of the sold call) to the Spurs Manu Ginobili to Green and even LeBron James.
Why these rugged athletes flail like they’ve been shot in order to sell a call is a mystery, until you look at the brutal fouls that go uncalled in the NBA. Every little advantage counts. But aren’t the Warriors, as defending champs and winners of 73 games, above all this fakery? Not according to a key stat. Against the Thunder the Warriors have had a hard time getting to the foul line, a key factor in any playoff success. Draymond Green has to sell the calls even better, the stat sheet says. In Game 3 the Warriors shot just 25 free throws compared to the Thunder’s 37. In the Game 1 loss at home, Golden State got to the line just 17 times.