Body Expert: Draymond Green’s Excuse for Kicking People Is Really Dumb

Draymond Green Kicking

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Noted limb-flailing enthusiast Draymond Green “accidentally” kicked so many guys in the junk during the 2016 NBA Playoffs that the NBA had to give referees special instructions to crack down on nutshots for the 2016-17 season. Unfortunately, as far as Green in concerned, the new rules don’t seem to have had any effect.

Last week Draymond kicked Houston’s James Harden in the face. Then, just two days later, he kicked Phoenix’s Marquese Chriss in the ass.

Green’s explanation for the unpredictable and dangerous flailing of his limbs has always been that it is just his body’s natural reaction to getting jostled. He elaborated on that thesis and criticized the league’s attempt to regulate his kicking while speaking to the media last week:

“It’s funny how you can tell me how I get hit and how my body is supposed to react. I didn’t know the league office was that smart when it came to body movements. I’m not sure if they took kinesiology for their positions to tell you how your body is going to react when you get hit in a certain position. Or you go up and you have guys who jump to the ceiling. A lot of these guys that make the rules can’t touch the rim, yet they tell you how you’re way up there in the air which way your body [is supposed to go]…They need to go take a few more kinesiology classes, though. Maybe they can take a taping class or functional movement classes. Let me know how the body works, because clearly mine don’t work the right way.”

Unfortunately for Green, people who did take kinesiology classes do not agree with his assessment. This week the folks at Deadspin solicited the professional opinion of exercise physiologist Kate Bishop, who works as a personal trainer and research assistant at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Here are her general thoughts on Green’s kicking:

“While I don’t think there is necessarily malintent on the part of Draymond, there appears to be a level of carelessness to his motions and I will tell you why. Jumping requires upward propulsion and because muscles cannot push, they only pull, all of the effort through the kinetic chain should be focused on extending through the posterior chain. In other words, it is mechanically counterproductive to lift a leg in the middle or end of a jump. If you really think about it, lifting the thigh at the peak of a jump would only inhibit ones action of momentum. If you are trying to get up, lifting your leg through the psoas and or quad/ITB is working against your jumping musculature.

“In regards to some of his lunging, the same principles apply. Lateral movement requires a reach outward and away with the leg. Unlike soccer, where the leg may be reaching for a ball in the air, basketball players move laterally along the floor to either block the lane or catch/throw/fake with the ball. For Draymond to lift his leg into the air, high enough to hit another player, is not kinesthetically sound. If you ask me, it’s careless.

“Everyone is expected to avoid dangerous activity on the court and Draymond is not going to be able to use kinesiology as an excuse to bring his legs into the air in the middle of a jump or lunge, especially when it holds back his own game in some ways.”

And here are her thoughts about whether the kicking could be a natural response to being hit while up in the air:

“It’s difficult to say with 100% certainty that his reaction is over-exaggerated … but when I watch the clip it appears over-exaggerated and highly placed. It is possible that while being knocked midair his legs will elevate due to the change in momentum, but the degree to which this happens with Draymond is a lot! I also don’t see this very often from the rest of the dynamic NBA players he faces. I think he is looking to legitimize his lack of control or care in these scenarios.”

In layman’s terms: Green is full of shit.

Hat Tip – [Deadspin]

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