Cleveland scored 86 points in the first half of Game 4, and that wasn’t even the most absurd thing to happen in its 137–116 win. The abundance of Golden State fouls and onslaught of Cavalier 3s were almost upstaged by several very strange moments on Friday night. Here is the definitive list of absurdities during dead balls and off the court.
1. Draymond Green’s Non-Ejection
In a clash already emanating very strong Game 6–2016 vibes, Draymond Green nearly gave us all déjà vu midway through the third quarter. After Draymond fouled Kevin Love, referee Marc Davis felt he protested too much and called a technical foul on him. One technical foul, while not ideal, is fine. It’s Draymond; anything less than a suspension is cool.
However, because of another absurd sequence in the first half, Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, the Cavs, the Warriors, and everyone except for the officiating crew thought it was Green’s second. Even the first-half scoring sheet indicated Green already had one, which would have been accrued following a foul on Iman Shumpert, assessed on a jump ball, which was a result of a LeBron wedgie.
You still with me?
But the officials insisted that the first-half technical was on Steve Kerr, who had barged onto the court to protest the personal foul on Green. Draymond Green is not the most efficient or most prolific scorer, but he is the most ineffable. The Warriors need him; 2016 memorialized this fact. His continued presence for the rest of the game, despite the loss, was significant.
To paraphrase Jeff Van Gundy, this was a bad look for the NBA. Mark Jackson added, “Somebody’s lying!” While that’s not confirmed, the third quarter was incredibly chaotic in a way that had nothing to do with the Warriors’ pace of play.
2. Jeff Van Gundy’s Ardent Defense of Khloe Kardashian
There has been a conspicuous absence from the Cavs’ postseason run, and it’s not Matthew Dellavedova swiping at Steph Curry. Tristan Thompson’s girlfriend, Khloe Kardashian, was hardly seen until Friday night. She attended the game with sister Kourtney, nephew Mason, and niece Penelope. Her presence gave JVG the opportunity to rant against the Kardashian curse — which states that a professional athlete endures some kind of professional downturn in his career after dating one of the sisters — and attempt to clear Khloe’s name. After his reaction to Rihanna earlier in the series, we should have known Jeff had strongly held Kardashian opinions.
3. Matt Barnes Fighting With a Fan, Who Then Got Ejected
Per Dave McMenamin, the guy who got ejected was not just a rich fan capable of paying for courtside seats, but a close friend of LeBron, Tristan Thompson, and Rich Paul. They even attended his wedding in 2015. Cavsologists will remember that these are the nuptials at which James and Thompson were hanging out while Thompson was still haggling with ownership over his contract.
Leave it to Matt Barnes to get a star player’s friend ejected, in said star player’s arena.
4. Dahntay Jones Getting a Technical Foul … While Sitting on the Bench
Dahntay Jones’s beef with Draymond Green extends back to when the Warriors’ primary nemesis was the Clippers. As a scrub on that team, he unnecessarily nudged Draymond Green as he walked off the court while Green was doing a postgame interview with Lisa Salters. During Game 4, he was heckling Kevin Durant, and the refs quickly T’d him up.
Being an NBA player is officially costing this guy money:
5. Dwyane Wade Sitting Courtside With Red Hair
If Dwyane Wade was at all concerned about Fred Hoiberg leaving the Bulls for Ohio State (though that job has now been filled), it was not apparent. He seemed to have a delightful time watching his buddy snag even more records (the Cavs scored the most points in a half for a Finals game and the most 3s in a Finals game) and avoid getting swept.
Dwyane Wade has red hair now, which is the color of the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat. Hm.
6. Glamor Shots of the Warriors’ Peanut Butter and Jelly Station in Their Locker Room
Thanks to both Baxter Holmes and Ben Cohen, the Warriors’ fondness for peanut butter and jelly is well known. Now, ABC and ESPN have captured the fact that Golden State offers both Uncrustables and actual peanut butter for making the sandwiches. The Warriors really may be light-years ahead — at least when it comes to sandwich options.
7. LeBron Joining His Team for the National Anthem Straight From the Tunnel
As the broadcast began, the cameras showed LeBron James joining his teammates who were lined up on the court. But he was coming out of the tunnel, not from the bench or the huddle. It was never addressed, but it was the first indication that this game would be unusual. We should have known the King would never get swept playing as well as he has in the Finals.