Draymond Green played in his 15th game of the 2023-24 NBA season on Tuesday. In just 17 minutes of action, he managed to pick up his third ejection of the campaign.
Green was tossed after it was deemed that he committed a flagrant foul against Suns center Jusuf Nurkic. During the play, which occurred with 8:23 left in the third quarter, Green swung his arm wildly and caught Nurkic on the side of the head.
Officials reviewed the play and ruled that Green had committed a flagrant foul, penalty level two. That prompted an automatic ejection and forced the Warriors to finish their contest shorthanded.
Golden State may continue to be without Green because of his actions on Tuesday. He has already been suspended for five games once this season, so his status as a repeat offender could cause the NBA to crack down on his streak of bad behavior.
Here’s what to know about Green’s latest ejection and what may come as a result of it.
Draymond Green ejection, foul explained
Green was ejected after he committed a flagrant 2 against Suns center Jusuf Nurkic. The play occurred when Nurkic was playing tight, ball-denial defense on Green as he looked to shake himself free to receive an inbounds pass.
Green swung wildly as he tried to get open. During his spin move, he hit Nurkic hard in the head, sending the big man sprawling to the ground.
Draymond has been ejected after flagrant foul on Nurkić pic.twitter.com/RmrLU5tdw8
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 13, 2023
Green was immediately whistled for a foul and the officials wasted little time reviewing the play. They quickly determined that Green had committed a flagrant foul that warranted an ejection from the game.
As such, Green was sent to the showers early having totaled two points, two rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes of action. The Warriors were unable to finish off a win without him, losing 119-116 in a tightly contested game.
What Draymond Green said about hitting Jusuf Nurkic
Green addressed his ejection after the contest and appeared to show at least some contrition for the play.
“I am not one to apologize for things I mean to do, but I do apologize to Jusuf because I didn’t intend to hit him,” Green told reporters after the game, per ESPN. “I sell calls with my arms … so I was selling the call … and I swung and unfortunately I hit him.”
Green continued to insist and harp on the fact that he had no intention of making contact with the Suns center.
“Like I said, if I intended to do that, then I would feel awful about not being there,” Green said. “But my intentions were just to sell the foul.
“You guys have known me long enough, if I intended to do something, I am not apologizing. But I did make contact with him, so I do apologize. … It’s a hard hit.”
What Jusuf Nurkic, Suns said about Draymond Green’s ejection
Nurkic was a bit more perturbed by Green’s actions than the Warriors forward was; in fact, he actually called for Green to get “help” amid his recent on-court outbursts.
“What’s going on with him, I don’t know. Personally, I feel like that brother needs help,” Nurkic said. “I’m glad he didn’t try to choke me.”
Nurkic said that he believed Green should have been ejected because of the rogue arm, which “had nothing to do with basketball.” He was also backed by his head coach Frank Vogel, who said Green’s move was “a reckless, dangerous play.”
“I’m sensitive to our guys getting hit on plays like that,” Vogel said. “I didn’t like it. The refs did what they had to do. The league will do what they have to do.”
Will Draymond Green be suspended?
What could the NBA “doing what it has to do” entail? It seems likely that the league will suspend Green given his history of pushing the envelope and serving as an instigator during his time in the league.
To date, Green has been suspended five times. Below is a brief breakdown of his infractions and suspension lengths for those offenses.
|Green picks up fourth flagrant foul point of playoffs after hitting LeBron James in groin
|Warriors ban Green after getting into a heated argument with teammate Kevin Durrant
|Green reaches the technical foul points limit and is required to sit out a game because of it
|Green steps on the chest of Domantas Sabonis in Game 2 of Golden State’s first-round series vs. Sacramento
|Green puts Rudy Gobert in a headlock, resulting in significant NBA discipline
It’s also notable that Green avoided a suspension after punching teammate Jordan Poole in the face at practice before the 2022-23 NBA season. He did, however, receive a significant fine for his actions in that scuffle.
All of that is to say that Green could find himself facing another ban of at least five games given his checkered history and multiple ejections during the 2023-24 season. But if the NBA wants to send him a message, they could opt to give him the longest suspension of his career.
Perhaps that would finally allow the league to get through to the 33-year-old.
Source : ESPN.com