SAN FRANCISCO — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Draymond Green was “wrong” and “went too far” by hitting out at Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert, agreeing that the five-game suspension imposed by the NBA was deserved.
“Draymond was wrong,” Kerr said Thursday before the Warriors played the Oklahoma City Thunder. “He knows it. That’s a bad look. Five matches are deserved.”
In determining the NBA’s length, the NBA cited Green’s “history of unsportsmanlike conduct.”
The altercation occurred Tuesday before two minutes of the first quarter, when Golden State’s Klay Thompson and Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels got into a shoving duel near midcourt on a Timberwolves possession. Gobert stepped in and grabbed Thompson, then Green ran inside and pulled Gobert from behind, putting his arm around the center’s neck in a manner the league called “unsportsmanlike and dangerous.”
Thompson’s shirt was torn during the scuffle and he, Green and McDaniels were ejected. Thompson and McDaniels were assessed technical fouls, while Green was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2. It was Green’s second ejection in three games.
“He definitely went too far,” Kerr said. “I had no problem with him pulling Rudy away from Klay because the general rule is you don’t raise your hands against another player on the other team. … But he has to let go. It lasted for six, seven seconds and it was a terrible sight for the league, for Draymond and everyone.
Thompson, McDaniels and Gobert were also punished for their involvement, with each receiving a $25,000 fine from the league.
However, Green will pay the biggest price, both in terms of missed games and lost money. The suspension will cost him $769,704 in lost wages.
The Golden State forward has a fiery style of play and isn’t afraid to pick up fouls, but he’s also been known to over-escalate situations. Kerr said the team is working with Green to manage his behavior.
“Draymond has to find a way to stay within the bounds,” Kerr said. “I’m not talking about expulsion or technical inspection. I’m talking about an act of physical violence. This is unforgivable. We need to do everything we can to give him the help and support he needs to be able to differentiate between being an amazing competitor… but he can’t cross that line.