Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been suspended for five games, the NBA announced on Wednesday, for “escalating an on-court altercation and forcefully grabbing Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert around the neck in an unsportsmanlike and dangerous manner.”
“Forcefully grabbing” Gobert around the neck is a polite way of describing a full-on WWE chokehold. Green ran into an altercation that began between Klay Thompson and Jaden McDaniels and proceeded to drag Gobert — who was only trying to break things up — away in a headlock.
Here’s a look from the scuffle that took place in the first quarter before a point was scored in the Wolves’ eventual 104-101 win in the In-Season Tournament:
A closer look:
Thompson, McDaniels and Gobert will be fined $25,000 each for their role in the altercation but will not be suspended, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that “the length of [Green’s] suspension is based in part on Green’s history of unsportsmanlike acts.”
“My first thought was, I’m not going to fight, I need to be in this game to help my team. So I showed the ref I had my hands up and I just waited until the situation was over. Nothing more than that. It wasn’t really enough of a choke for me to sleep. I just kept my hands up and waited until it was over,.
“It’s kind of funny because before the game I was telling myself Steph is not playing, so I know Draymond is going to try to get ejected. Every time Steph doesn’t play, he doesn’t want to play without his guy Steph, so he’s doing anything to get ejected. It’s all good. Just clown behavior.”
Gobert, for what it’s worth,about Green getting ejected more frequently when Curry is not playing.
This is not a good time for Green to be out. The Warriors, who are already without Stephen Curry at the moment, have lost five of their last six games to fall to 6-6 after a 5-2 start.
Green, who has been ejected from 17 games during his career, the most among active players, will miss two games against Oklahoma City, beginning Thursday night, and one each against the Rockets, Suns and Spurs.