The Draymond Stomp

The NBA Playoffs has been living up to expectations, with upsets and fireworks exploding left, right and center. The East, expected to cruise through a surprise-free first round, has suddenly been hit by a series of bomb blasts. With the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks besieged by a merciless Miami Heat that knows the extreme need to capitalize on an absent Giannis Antetokounmpo. And with a doggedly-determined New York Knicks unit that refuses to be cowed by Donovan Mitchell and the resurgent Cleveland Cavaliers.

But it is the West that has provided more tears and fears, more division and drama. With the numerous storylines from the hotly-contested Phoenix Suns – LA Clippers series; with the growing rivalry between the brash youth squad of the Memphis Grizzlies and the older, yet wiser, Lebron-led LA Lakers; with the return of Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets, versus a dangerous Twin Tower concept that the Minnesota Timberwolves now employ; and in what is today’s biggest bomb of all, Draymond Green’s suspension in an already heated series featuring the defending champs, the Golden State Warriors, against first-time-in-a-long-time playoff contender, Sacramento Kings.

‘The Draymond Stomp’ is now relegated to the history books. But it has been seen and heard around the world, and is a hot topic that has been a cause for debate among cage fans, be they pro or anti-Warriors, pro or anti-Draymond, pro or anti-physical contact, or simply pro or anti. Fans will have their own view of the incident, depending on where they sit in the spectrum; and like it or not, the ‘Stomp’ will forever be remembered as one of this season’s most vivid show-stoppers.

The Draymond Stomp (courtesy of YouTube)

Much has been said about the Draymond Stomp. I shall no longer discuss the merits of the decision to throw him out of the game and the subsequent 1 game suspension. That has all been decided on, and the penalties have ran their course. The Kings would win Game 2 after Draymond was ejected from the game with 7 minutes to go in the 4th quarter. However, the short-handed Warriors – now with their backs against the wall and having to do with a line-up minus the suspended Draymond and a sick Gary Payton II – would win Game 3, to cut the Kings’ series lead to 2-1 and keep their title-retention dreams alive.

The incident has drawn much discussion from basketball sages and scholars, not just because of a possible 0-3 hole the Warriors would have fallen into if they had lost Game 3. The consequences of the Draymond Stomp could very well be significant for the league in the future.

Draymond has at times been hailed as the heart and soul of the Warriors team. It is Draymond that can bring in a different level of energy in the homecourt arena. He is also known as the hub of the Warriors’ defense. It is Draymond who emboldens the rest of the team to play a pug-nosed, highly-physical defensive game, a game bordering on the rough side, that intimidates opponents into missing shots and losing the rebounds. His value to the team is seen in the 4 NBA titles Golden State has amassed in the last 8 years.

However, there are those who will say that Draymond’s volatile character is an uncertainty that could affect the team’s future negatively as well. Fans will recall the NBA championship in 2016, when Draymond got suspended in Game 5 of the Finals against the Cleveland Cavs for accumulating excessive technical and flagrant fouls, ultimately leading to the loss of the title. This year, that could haunt the Warriors once again if they lose this series against the Kings. In other words, Draymond’s value could tip on both sides: he could be a catalyst, for better or for worse.

Case in point: these last 3 games are a small sample size. Warriors lost Games 1 and 2 with Draymond, then win Game 3 without him. Sure, you have to factor in the homecourt advantage, the presence or absence of other players, injuries perhaps, etc. On the positive side, you also factor in the emotional high from the perceived miscue by the NBA for suspending the charismatic Draymond. But the results of the 3 games tell us that Draymond could also bring the team south.

So where do we really attribute the Warriors’ win in Game 3? Was it really the Warriors’ stellar shooting? Or was it the Kings’ lethargic offense? Was it the Warriors’ great defense that caused the shooting slump? Was it the Warriors’ vaunted 6th man – the hometown crowd – that took over from the absent Draymond?

The Kings that played in Game 3 were not the same Kings who regaled the league with a record offensive rating of 118.6. Instead, what we saw was a confused deer caught in headlights. The Kings were suddenly transposed into the playoff newbies that they are. They missed open 3s, made tentative passes leading to turnovers, allowed themselves to be outmuscled in the paint, leading to the Warriors’ huge lead in rebounds. Playoff experience, playoff smarts. The Kings need to steel themselves and not be dazzled by the playoff version of Steph Curry and the rest of the Warriors.

But it is also to the credit of the Warriors that they did not allow the loss of Draymond – and Payton subsequently – to ruin their focus over a workable winning strategy. Instead of whining about Draymond’s suspension, they just moved on to make plans to do battle despite the absence of their defense guru.

But back to Draymond.

The next games will be a big test for Draymond and the Warriors. If the Warriors are eliminated in this year’s playoffs, some fans will single out Draymond’s antics for the loss. Then Draymond could be on the way out of Golden State. With lucrative contracts already assigned to Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, the Warriors will have a difficult time accommodating a similar extension for the 33-year old Draymond. Still, Draymond will be invaluable to a contending team such as the Lakers. He has the experience, the charisma and the needed skill sets to make a significant contribution to whichever team he chooses to join. He could be the missing piece that could bring any contender over the hump. Whichever team catches the mercurial Draymond will find a great new asset to the team. That is, if he decides not to blow off some steam by himself.

Cover pic courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle. Other pics courtesy of San Diego Union-Tribune, Yahoo Sports, Sporting News, Draft Kings Nation, Golden State of Mind,, SacTown Royalty, San Francisco Chronicle,, ABC10, SBNation and Sports Illustrated. For a closer look, just click on the pics.


    1. did you watch Game 4? draymond without his histrionics is a big plus for the Warriors. when he uses his antics, the team suffers. that’s what happened in games 1 and 2.
      congrats on the Sixers win, Bruce!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Charles, I could not believe Curry called a timeout when the Warriors did not have any, but they still persevered. Draymond definitely gives that team a spark when he keeps it under control. Yes, the Sixers have gotten some much-needed rest prior to Round 2…and they will need it!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, Steph’s booboo would’ve haunted them big-time had Barnes not missed that open shot in the end. This is such an interesting match-up, and I’m rooting for the underdog Kings here.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. It certainly seems like more and more of a possibility that Draymond will not be a Warrior in the near future. I know you are rooting for the Kings so I also tuned in to watch. They are a very pleasant surprise.

    I guess we will wait and see with Draymond but if I am him, I would be talking to the organization about a smaller scale Bobby Bonilla like contract as his presence on the floor is arguably as much of a liability as it is an enforcer benefit.

    me, I’m just having a good time watching the Heat. but they don’t have the Bucks put away just yet. I’m not celebrating until Game 5 is all but over.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i luv the resurgent Heat!!! always been in love with the underdog. so I’m rooting for Miami as well, Archer!
      And yes! We are just a game away from bundling out the faves of the east! Go,go, go, Jimmy!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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