Just one month into the 2023-24 NBA season, Warriors forward Draymond Green has once again found himself at the center of an on-court controversy. The incident occurred during an In-Season Tournament game between the Warriors and the Timberwolves when chaos erupted after Klay Thompson became entangled with Jaden McDaniels. As Rudy Gobert attempted to intervene and separate Thompson, Green took matters into his own hands and placed Gobert in a headlock, further escalating the altercation.
Following a thorough review of the situation, Green was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul and promptly ejected from the game. The NBA wasted no time in issuing a suspension for his actions, clearly demonstrating their stance on such behavior. Tyler Ford, the officiating Crew Chief, shed some light on the league's decision-making process, stating that Green was given a Flagrant 2 for aggressively placing Gobert in a headlock and refusing to release him. Ford emphasized that this kind of unnecessary and excessive conduct met the criteria for a flagrant foul penalty 2. The NBA's commitment to maintaining discipline and fair play was unquestionable.
This is not the first time that Green has faced suspension. During the 2023 NBA Playoffs, he was suspended for one game after stomping on the chest of Domantas Sabonis. Executive Vice President and Head of Basketball Operations, Joe Dumars, acknowledged Green's status as a repeat offender as a contributing factor in his suspension. Just four days prior to this recent incident, Green was ejected from a game against the Cavaliers for accumulating two technical fouls.
In response to his ejection, Green took to Instagram, expressing frustration with ongoing criticism and attempts to change his on-court demeanor. He asserted that after 12 years in the league, people were still trying to coach him on how to be himself, urging others to let him play his game.
Unfortunately for Green, Tuesday's altercation led to his second ejection in a span of four days. He was involved in a back-and-forth with Anthony Edwards on Sunday and was ultimately ejected for his role in escalating the altercation during the Warriors' rematch with the Timberwolves.
As a result of his actions, the NBA has decided to suspend Green for five games. The length of the suspension reflects Green's history of unsportsmanlike behavior. The Warriors will have to navigate their upcoming games without their key player, as Green will miss matches against the Thunder, Rockets, Suns, and Spurs.
Throughout his career, Green has faced suspension on four occasions. In addition to the recent incident, he was suspended for stepping on Domantas Sabonis' chest during the 2023 NBA Playoffs, for accumulating his 16th technical foul of the 2022-23 season, and for conduct detrimental to the team after an argument with teammate Kevin Durant.
It remains to be seen how Green will respond to this latest suspension and whether it will have any lasting impact on his behavior on and off the court. The NBA and the Warriors organization will undoubtedly continue to monitor the situation closely.