SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Draymond Green was “wrong” and “took it too far” when he put Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert in a headlock, agreeing that the five-game suspension handed down by the NBA was deserved.
“Draymond was wrong,” Kerr said Thursday before the Warriors’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. “He knows that. It’s a bad look. The five games is deserved.”
The NBA cited Green’s “ history of unsportsmanlike acts ” in determining the length.
The altercation occurred before two minutes had elapsed in the first quarter on Tuesday, when Golden State’s Klay Thompson and Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels got in a shoving match near midcourt following a Timberwolves possession. Gobert stepped in and grabbed hold of Thompson before Green rushed in and pulled Gobert away from behind with his arm around the center’s neck in what the league called “an unsportsmanlike and dangerous manner.”
Thompson’s jersey was ripped during the scuffle, and he, Green and McDaniels were all ejected. Thompson and McDaniels were each assessed a technical foul, while Green was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2. It was Green’s second ejection in three games.
“He definitely took it too far,” Kerr said. “I didn’t have a problem with him getting Rudy off of Klay because the rule of thumb is you don’t put your hands on another player on the other team. … But he’s got to let go. He hung on for six, seven seconds, and it was a terrible visual for the league, for Draymond, for everybody.”
Thompson, McDaniels and Gobert were also penalized for their involvement, each receiving a $25,000 fine from the league.
But Green will pay the biggest price, both in terms of games missed and money lost. The suspension will cost him $769,704 in forfeited salary.
The Golden State forward has a notably fiery style of play and does not shy away from picking up fouls, but he has also been known to escalate situations too far. Kerr said the team is working with Green to rein in his behavior.
“Draymond has to find a way to not cross the line,” Kerr said. “I’m not talking about getting an ejection or getting a technical. I’m talking about a physical act of violence. I mean, that’s inexcusable. We have to do everything we can to give him the help and the assistance that he needs to be able to draw that distinction between being an incredible competitor … but he can’t cross that line.”
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