The National Basketball Association (NBA) has suspended Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green for five games without pay for his actions during a clash with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, the league announced on Wednesday night.
According to the NBA’s statement, Green’s history of unsportsmanlike acts had played a part in the length of the suspension.
He was at the centre of a skirmish during the opening minutes of the game between the Warriors and the Timberwolves in San Francisco.
After Anthony Edwards missed a three-point attempt, Golden State’s Klay Thompson and the Wolves’ Jaden McDaniels started grabbing at each other as both teams made their way to the other side of the court.
Thompson and McDaniels then got into an altercation, and Minnesota big man Rudy Gobert came over to try and separate the two. That was when Green came charging in, putting Gobert in a headlock before dragging him towards the Warriors’ bench.
The NBA said Green’s actions against Gobert were conducted in an “unsportsmanlike and dangerous manner”, with NBA executive vice-president Joe Dumars saying in the statement that he had been sanctioned without pay for “escalating an on-court altercation”.
Thompson, McDaniels and Green were all ejected just 1min 43sec into the game. Thompson, Gobert and McDaniels were each fined US$25,000 (S$33,800).
Green, 33, is averaging 8.8 points, 5.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds in nine games (all starts) this season.
He will miss two games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and also against the Houston Rockets, the Phoenix Suns and the San Antonio Spurs.
He is then eligible to return for Golden State’s game against the host Sacramento Kings on Nov 28.
The Warriors (6-6) have lost four straight games heading into a Thursday (Friday morning, Singapore time) home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Green has already been ejected from two games this season, also getting tossed against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.
The NBA faced mounting calls to issue a hefty suspension on him on Wednesday from commentators. Gobert had also joined the chorus of condemnation.
“I do hope the league’s going to do whatever needs to be done because that’s just clown behaviour,” he said.
Green’s suspension is the latest in a long line of brushes with the NBA’s disciplinary chiefs over the years.
The 33-year-old was suspended during the NBA play-offs in April after stamping on Sacramento Kings player Domantas Sabonis.
He was also ejected in Golden State’s 2021-2022 play-off series against the Memphis Grizzlies after clashing with Brandon Clarke.