Jusuf Nurkic Gets Real on Draymond Green’s Punch: ‘That Brother Needs Help’

Draymond Green, Warriors

Getty Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after being ejected for a flagrant foul.

Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic did not hold back in his reaction to Golden State Warriors mercurial forward Draymond Green’s punch.

“What’s going on him? I don’t know. Personally, I feel like that brother needs help,” Nurkic told reporters after the Suns beat the Warriors 119-116 on Tuesday, December 13. “I’m glad he did not try to choke me but at the same time, it has nothing to do with basketball.”

“Man, I’m just out there trying to play basketball and [Green] swinging. I think we saw that often but I hope whatever he got in his life, he gets better.”

The punching incident occurred with 8:23 left in the third quarter and the Warriors holding on to a 65-60 lead.

It went downhill for the Warriors after Green’s ejection.

The Suns went on a 20-10 run to grab an 80-75 lead. The Warriors briefly took it back behind their second unit’s backcourt of Chris Paul and Brandin Podziemski, 87-83, with 1:10 remaining in the third quarter. But it proved to be their last hurrah.

The Suns controlled the game until the buzzer.

Devin Booker had 12 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter while Bradley Beal added six of his season-debut 16 points that put away the game.

Green left the game with only two points, two rebounds and two assists against three turnovers.

Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 24 points but the Warriors were minus-15 when he was on the floor. All starters except for Klay Thompson (plus-4) finished with a negative net rating.

Draymond Green, Warriors Await NBA Review

Green’s latest ejection, his third this season, will be reviewed by the NBA, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Green earlier received a five-game suspension for his second ejection when he put Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a headlock on November 15. His first ejection of the season came against the Cleveland Cavaliers when he shoved Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell four days earlier on November 11.

Green’s history — 20 ejections in his career — will factor into the league’s decision in their review of his latest transgression.

“I didn’t see the replay of it but just looked like a reckless, dangerous play,” Suns coach Frank Vogel told reporters. “I’m sensitive to our guys getting hit on plays like that so I didn’t like it.”

“[The] Refs did what they had to do and the league will do what they what they have to do.”

Jusuf Nurkic’s Response

Nurkic finished with a monster double-double (17 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists) to help the Suns hold off the Warriors. His composure kept him from responding to Green’s sucker punch.

“That happened before so I’ve learned this league when you respond to something like that, you know you’re getting fined. So, you’re getting the penalties which is not fair but at the same time you know I’m too valuable for this team to get into foul trouble or getting [technical foul] or getting kicked out. So, I got to stay mentally okay because it’s better for the team [for me] to stay on the floor.”

The Suns certainly needed Nurkic. Too bad for the Warriors, Green doesn’t have the composure Nurkic has.