OAKLAND, Calif. -- The NBA Executive VP of Basketball Operations, Kiki VanDeWeghe, clarified the "unnatural act rule" Sunday, saying the league isn't targeting Draymond Green because "rules are for every player."
The NBA is addressing this matter a day after the Golden State Warriors All-Star lashed out at the league office, questioning its qualifications of judging and penalizing him for where his flailing legs happen to land.
"Rules are discussed and agreed upon at the competition committee meetings consisting of owners, general managers, coaches, player reps and referee representatives," VanDeWeghe said. "They go through the same procedures for all rule changes.
"We noticed last year that more unnatural acts, such as arm flails and leg kicks, [occurred] for drawing attention of the referee. The competition committee looked at it and wanted to keep the rules fair for all teams, as well as make sure the health and safety of players were not jeopardized. We looked at it very carefully to take it out the game. Rules have to be applied to every player the same. There are no exceptions."
Green has been penalized on multiple occasions over the past couple of years for his high kicks that tend to make contact to an opposing player's face or groin region.
He received a Flagrant 1 in the Warriors' loss to the Houston Rockets on Thursday after his foot made contact with the face of James Harden. Two days later, Green made his displeasure with the penalty known.
"I just laugh at it, because it's funny how you can tell me how I get hit and how my body is supposed to react," Green said. "I didn't know the people in the league office were that smart when it came to your body movement. I'm not sure if they took kinesiology and all this stuff for their positions to kind of tell you how your body is going to react when you get hit at certain positions.
"Or you go up and you got guys that jump to the ceiling, and I'm sure a lot of these people that make these rules can't touch the rim. Yet they tell you [that] you are way up there in the air and which way your body [is supposed to react]. I don't really understand that. That's like me going in there and telling them, 'Hey, you did something on this paperwork in here wrong.' Like, I don't know what your paperwork looks like. It is what it is. I think they made the rule and make your rule. Like, I don't care."
VanDeWeghe did not fine Green for his comments.
"We take our players' opinions and comments very seriously, as evident by the fact that we have a player rep from the union at our meetings," VanDeWeghe said. "When players speak, we want to understand and explain the process. We try to minimize the risk of injury and do whatever we can do to take health and safety seriously."
Green made a point to bring up Harden in his comments, saying the All-Star guard gets away with extending his arms in traffic to draw fouls. Green said that's an unnatural act.
"The big difference becomes safety and the potential of injuring somebody," he said. "That's the big difference. Players embellish contact to draw attention. It's gotten better since instituting the flopping rule on defense. But if a player flails his arms and strikes a player in the face, then that's a cause for concern. It's not one particular player or two. The competition committee spent a lot of time looking at this, and we decided that if the move doesn't justify the movement, then we have to act."