Golden State Warriors star forward Draymond Green has been handed a five-game suspension following his actions during the team's in-season tournament game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday. In addition, Warriors teammate Klay Thompson, as well as Timberwolves players Rudy Gobert and Jaden McDaniels, have each been fined $25,000 for their involvement in the incident. The news was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who also noted that Green's suspension includes the in-season tournament game against the San Antonio Spurs.
The incident occurred early in the game before any points had been scored when Thompson and McDaniels engaged in a confrontation. This prompted Gobert to intervene and separate them. Green, presumably trying to defend Thompson, came up from behind and placed his arm around Gobert's neck. Green maintained the headlock for a significant amount of time before eventually releasing Gobert. As a result, all three players involved were ejected from the game. The Warriors ultimately lost 104-101, marking their fourth consecutive defeat.
Following the game, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr expressed his belief that Green was simply defending his teammate. "There is no way Klay should have been ejected. That was ridiculous," Kerr stated. "I was upset about that. As far as the Draymond piece of it, Rudy had his hands on Klay's neck. That's why Draymond went after Rudy."
This incident marks the second time Green has been ejected this season. He was previously ejected from the Warriors' 118-110 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on November 11th after receiving a second technical foul for pushing Cavs guard Donovan Mitchell. Green's fiery personality brings a unique level of energy and intensity to the Warriors, but on this occasion, he crossed the line.
Replacing Green's contributions during his suspension will undoubtedly be a challenge for the Golden State Warriors. Although his statistics of 8.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.7 assists may appear relatively modest, his intangibles and defensive prowess are invaluable to the team. In Green's absence, the Warriors will likely rely on players such as Jonathan Kuminga and Dario Šarić to fill the void in the frontcourt. Golden State will strive to avoid falling into an early-season slump, but it will undoubtedly be challenging without Green's presence in the lineup.
Overall, Draymond Green's suspension serves as a significant setback for the Golden State Warriors. The team will need to find a way to adapt and overcome this challenge in order to remain competitive in the highly competitive Western Conference.