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Charles Barkley praises Draymond Green for low blow on LeBron James

LeBron James and Draymond Green exchange pleasantries in Game 4. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

His below-the-belt blow against LeBron James has caused Draymond Green to be suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night, but at least one person is on Green’s side.

Charles Barkley, the TNT analyst and former NBAer, liked what he saw from the Golden State Warriors player, who flung an arm in the direction of James’s man region when the Cleveland Cavaliers’ star stepped over him in Game 4 Friday night. Green was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul by the league and must sit out the next game because it was his fourth flagrant of the season.

“I gave Draymond a compliment,” Barkley said, reiterating his Friday comments that James had dissed him in an interview with Sirius XM’s Bleacher Report Radio. “I said, ‘You could have played in our day.’ Because when a guy steps over you, you have a moral obligation to punch him … You have a moral obligation. Because that’s really disrespectful to step over a guy. You’re supposed to pop him in his junk if he steps over you like that. That’s a perfectly fine response if a guy does that.”

Compounding the indignity for James was that Green, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin called him “a b—-” as the two exchanged words. “You know, like I said, as a competitor, I love going against Draymond, and I’m all about going out there and leaving it out on the floor,” James, who was given a technical foul, said. “But when it gets a little bit more than what it should be, that’s what caused me to have words with him.”

As for the blow, Barkley noted that there’s an art to it.

“Now, you gotta act like you didn’t try to do it,” Barkley said. “I will admit that. You got to act like you didn’t mean to do it. But listen, man, and I can say it, I told Draymond that: when somebody steps over you, they’re doing that intentionally to just like rub it in your face. I mean, they’re deliberately trying to punk you in that situation.”