Golden State’s most violent player made headlines again after Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Finals. He had a terrible game as he picked up six fouls including one where he bulldozed Marcus Smart to the ground. Meanwhile, the notoriously hostile Boston fans made their feelings about him known with foul chants.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr and teammate Klay Thompson criticized the Celtics’ fans because they didn’t think of the children in attendance when they effused profanity-laced tirades against Green and Golden State. But Green’s notorious career is arguably a much worse example for them to follow than any poor, cuss-word-laden boors from the fans. He flamed out and admitted that he performed like garbage (via CBS News).
In April 2016, the Warriors played Houston in the third game of their series. Green committed another flagrant foul when he tackled Michael Beasley to the ground. It was a moment born of frustration as Green fumbled the ball before he wrestled the Rockets’ forward.
This was the Warriors’ final possession ahead of their one-point loss against Houston. It’s not the worst foul of Green’s career but it shows what type of player he is. If things don’t go his way, he turns basketball into a WrestleMania tribute (via Bleacher Report). This was just another example of this in Green’s long history of tangling up his opponents and possibly hurting them.
The Rockets also met Golden State in the 2015 Conference Finals. Green seemingly has a vendetta against the franchise due to his notorious incidents involving James Harden and Michael Beasley. But this time he had a run-in with Trevor Ariza as the pair became embroiled in a wrestling match.
First, Ariza lost his balance and fell on top of Green as they competed for the ball. It was innocuous until Green tangled with Ariza and prevented his opponent from getting back to his feet. Suddenly, the pair appeared to be competing in a Brazilian jiu-jitsu match instead of playing basketball (via USA Today Sports).
Green earned himself another flagrant foul after he clotheslined LeBron James mid-court in 2017. Golden State played the Cavs and Green felt like leaving a mark on the game. He also wanted to leave a physical imprint of his body on King James (via Bleacher Report).
We’ve spoken already about how Green poked James in the eye before. He also kicked him in the groin on one occasion. The greatest basketball player of the 2010s knows all about Green’s malicious behavior. He’s felt the full force of the forward’s dark arts on multiple occasions. Despite his injuries, he’s lived to tell the tale so far.
There’s no denying that Green has had a hugely successful career with the Warriors. Arguably, every team needs that type of player who’s willing to get down and dirty. But his penchant for chaos and attacking his opponents has cost Golden State dearly on occasion. One such moment was his attempted kick on LeBron James in the 2016 NBA Finals.
The forward lashed out from the ground with his foot and attempted to make kick James in the groin. He missed thankfully but got himself suspended for the next game. This was a crucial reason why the Cavaliers turned a 3-1 deficit around as Green cost himself another ring, but his play has helped the Warriors to multiple titles as a result as well (via Sportskeeda).
Fans may have given Green the benefit of the doubt if he were anybody else but himself. But the fact is that he’s one of the dirtiest players in the history of basketball. In 2018, he dislocated Jonas Valanciunas’s left thumb as he jostled for the ball. This left the Lithuanian player screaming in agony.
It’s one of the worst incidents of Green’s notorious career because he hurt a fellow opposing player badly. It didn’t help that he had a history of hand injuries and was having a good season. Green brought that to an end and earned a lot of resentment in the process (via Bardown). Overall, Green hurt a ton of players as you’ve read on this list, but this may have been the worst injury he afflicted on an opponent.