NBA Comes Down Hard on Warriors’ Draymond Green With Big Suspension

Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors were already without Steph Curry due to a knee injury, and the team will now be down another starter for several games after the NBA suspended Draymond Green.

The league penalized Green five games for his actions against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, November 14, specifically for the headlock/sleeper hold he applied to Rudy Gobert during an on-court scuffle to kick off the game.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news of Green’s punishment on Wednesday evening.

“The NBA is suspending Golden State’s Draymond Green for five games, source tells ESPN, Wojnarowski wrote.

Rudy Gobert Accuses Draymond Green of Trying to Choke Him Out

Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Warriors Brawl

Getty Draymond Green #23 and Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors argue with a referee during an NBA game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in November 2023.

Referees ejected Green from Tuesday’s contest, along with teammate Klay Thompson and Timberwolves wing Jaden McDaniels.

An altercation between Thompson and McDaniels was the source of the melee, after the two got tied up on Golden State’s end of the court following a missed shot by Minnesota. The two ran to the other side of the court, violently pulling and tugging at each other’s jerseys. Gobert was one of the first players into the scrum, where he attempted to restrain Thompson. Green arrives fractions of a second later, grabbing Gobert from behind and putting his arm around the center’s neck.

“He’s grabbing me, he’s grabbing me, he’s grabbing me,” Gobert told The Athletic. “(But) the choke wasn’t good enough. … He tried really hard, but it wasn’t good enough to where I felt like I was really in danger of falling asleep or something like that.”

“His intention was to really take me out,” Gobert added. “And I kept my hands up the whole time just to show the officials that I wasn’t trying to escalate the situation.”

Gobert later accused Green of intentionally baiting the refs to throw him out of the game because a sprained knee had already sidelined Curry.

“It’s kind of funny because before the game, I was telling myself that Steph is not playing, so I know Draymond is going to try and get ejected,” Gobert continued. “Because every time Steph doesn’t play, [Draymond] doesn’t want to play — it’s his guy Steph. He’ll do anything he can to get ejected.”

Steve Kerr Defends Draymond Green’s Actions Against Timberwolves

Steve Kerr, Warriors

Getty Head coach Steve Kerr and point guard Chris Paul #3 of the Golden State Warriors complain to the referee after an altercation with the Minnesota Timberwolves during an NBA game in November 2023.

Minnesota beat Golden State by 6 points two days prior, during which Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards had words with Green on the court. Curry suffered his knee strain during that contest and will be out for an unknown amount of time.

The game before that against the Cleveland Cavaliers, referees ejected Green after whistling him for a second technical foul. That ejection befuddled Warriors head coach Steve Kerr who also went to bat for Green following the events of Tuesday night.

“If you watch the replay, Rudy had his hands on Klay’s neck and that’s why Draymond went after Rudy, and that’s how I saw one replay right after it happened,” Kerr said. “Guys on the back of the bench were telling us that Rudy had Klay and that’s why Draymond went after Rudy, so that’s all I know. But it was a bizarre way to start the game a minute and a half in.”

After dropping a second straight contest to Minnesota, Golden State now owns a record 6-6 on the season. The Warriors have lost five of their last six games, including four in a row.

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