The NBA has suspended Draymond Green, forward for the Golden State Warriors, for the next five games following an altercation that occurred during Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The incident occurred when Rudy Gobert grabbed Klay Thompson, prompting Green to place Gobert in a headlock by wrapping his arm around Gobert's neck for several seconds. Although Gobert initially escaped punishment during the game, he was later fined $25,000, along with Thompson and Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels, for his involvement. Green, on the other hand, received the most severe punishment due to his history of unsportsmanlike behavior, which was also cited when he stomped on Domantas Sabonis' chest during a playoff series against the Sacramento Kings last April.
Ahead of the Warriors' first game without Green, their head coach Steve Kerr commented on the NBA's ruling, expressing his belief that Green had gone too far with his actions and that the suspension was deserved. Initially, Kerr had defended Green, stating that he understood his reaction in trying to protect Thompson since it's a common rule to not touch players from the opposing team. However, after reviewing the incident and gaining some perspective, Kerr modified his stance, acknowledging that while he had no issue with Green intervening, he felt that Green held onto Gobert for an excessive amount of time. Kerr emphasized that this was a bad look for Green, the league, and everyone involved.
This recent incident adds to a string of altercations involving Green over the past year. Prior to the headlock incident, Green punched his then-teammate Jordan Poole in the face during a training camp session in October 2020. As a result, Green received an unofficial one-week suspension from the team and an undisclosed fine, but he did not miss any games.
Green's suspension will force him to sit out two games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as matchups against the Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, and San Antonio Spurs. He will be eligible to return on November 28th for the Warriors' final In-Season Tournament game against the Sacramento Kings.
In conclusion, Green's on-court altercation has led to a significant suspension, highlighting a pattern of unsportsmanlike conduct. The Warriors will have to adapt without Green's presence in the upcoming games, hoping to maintain their performance until his return.