In a move that has sent shockwaves through the NBA, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been suspended indefinitely less than 24 hours after a Flagrant 2 foul and ejection for hitting Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic in the face. This marks Green's second suspension of the season, with the league emphasizing that the decision takes into account his "repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts."
The suspension was announced by NBA operations chief Joe Dumars, with the league stating that Green will need to fulfill specific league and team conditions before he can return to play. This latest incident adds to Green's growing list of ejections, marking the 18th time in his career, making him the player with the most ejections among active NBA players.
The altercation occurred in the early stages of the third quarter when Green and Nurkic were entangled in a battle for position. While the two were grappling, Green, seemingly losing his balance, unexpectedly struck Nurkic in the face. Despite Nurkic crumpling to the ground, he managed to stay in the game after the referees reviewed the play and issued a Flagrant 2 foul.
Nurkic expressed his frustration, stating, "That had nothing to do with basketball. I’m just out there trying to play basketball." This suspension comes on the heels of a recent incident where Green was suspended for five games by the NBA for putting Minnesota's Rudy Gobert into a headlock during a confrontation in November.
An indefinite suspension is a rare occurrence in the NBA. One notable precedent is the 2010 suspension of then-Washington guard Gilbert Arenas by then-Commissioner David Stern for bringing firearms into the team locker room. This initial suspension was followed by a 50-game suspension, with Stern stating, "his ongoing conduct... led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game."
Warriors coach Steve Kerr expressed the team's need for Green, saying, "We need him, we need Draymond. He knows that, we’ve talked to him. He’s got to find a way to keep his poise and be out there for his teammates." As Green faces this latest setback, the Warriors will have to navigate the challenges of his absence on the court.
This is Dez Barnes of Pretty Girls Love Sports, a journalist on the MTMV Sports platform. She is a retired US Army veteran, professional cheerleader, pet mom, and avid sports lover. Feel free to follow her writings as she dives into the latest sports news! You can find her on all social media channels @PGLOVESPORTS.