NBA Takes Action: Draymond Green Suspended Indefinitely After Altercation with Jusuf Nurkić
Surprisingly, the NBA suspended veteran Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors indefinitely on December 12th after he was ejected for swiping at Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkić. With the league citing his “repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts” as a deciding factor in the severity of the punishment, this is Green’s second suspension of the season.
The incident unfolded during the third quarter of the Warriors’ 119-116 loss to the Suns in Phoenix. Green and Nurkić were jostling for position during an in-bounds play when Green unexpectedly swung at Nurkić, hitting him directly in the face with his right hand and sending the 7-foot center to the court. The foul was swiftly upgraded to a flagrant 2, resulting in Green’s ejection from the game.
The NBA’s announcement of Green’s suspension includes a requirement for him to meet certain league and team conditions before returning to play. The specifics of these conditions and the duration of the suspension remain unclear. However, the league is taking a stern stance, considering Green’s history of on-court incidents.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Green is expected to meet with Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy and his agent to discuss a “path of counseling and help for Green to move forward.” This suggests that the league and the Warriors organization are not only addressing the immediate disciplinary action but also looking toward a rehabilitative approach for Green.
This suspension comes on the heels of Green’s recent return from a five-game suspension earlier in the season. In that incident, he put Minnesota Timberwolves forward Rudy Gobert into a chokehold during an in-season tournament game. Green did not apologize for his actions at the time, emphasizing his commitment to defending his teammates while acknowledging the need for personal growth.
The Suns’ coach, Frank Vogel, criticized Green’s latest move, describing it as a “reckless, dangerous play” that had nothing to do with basketball. Vogel expressed concern for player safety and acknowledged the league’s responsibility to take appropriate action.
This latest suspension marks the sixth in Green’s career, adding to a disciplinary record that includes a postseason suspension for stomping on the chest of Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis. With 18 regular-season ejections, Green holds the record for the most ejections among active NBA players.
Despite Green’s impactful contributions to the Warriors, this suspension poses a significant setback for the team, which has now dropped to a 10-13 record. Green’s absence will be felt when the Warriors face the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.
As the league takes decisive action against Green’s unsportsmanlike conduct, the incident once again raises questions about player behavior, on-court safety, and the NBA’s role in maintaining a standard of sportsmanship among its athletes.