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Warriors Star Draymond Green Suspended Indefinitely by NBA

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Meta Description: NBA suspends Warriors' Draymond Green indefinitely following an incident with Suns' Jusuf Nurkic. This marks Green's second suspension this season. (AP/Rick Scuteri)
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SAN FRANCISCO — Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green was suspended indefinitely by the NBA on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after he hit Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic in the face and received a Flagrant 2 foul and ejection.

The league said the penalty handed down by operations chief Joe Dumars begins immediately. This is already Green’s second suspension this season.

League and Team Conditions

“He will be required to meet certain league and team conditions before he returns to play,” the league said.

The NBA noted that “this outcome takes into account Green’s repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts.”

The Warriors didn’t have a statement Wednesday but said Green’s suspension would be addressed at shootaround Thursday in Los Angeles ahead of a game against the Clippers.

The 33-year-old Green, part of four Warriors championships, was ejected for the 18th time in his career — most among active NBA players.

The Incident

As the Warriors were inbounding the ball near their own bench early in the third quarter in a 119-116 loss at Phoenix, Green and Nurkic were fighting for position near the baseline corner and the two tangled. Green appeared to slip slightly then pivoted around right into Nurkic with his right arm connecting with the big man’s face.

Nurkic fell to the ground instantly and stayed down briefly before getting up to remain in the game.

“That had nothing to do with basketball,” Nurkic said. “I’m just out there trying to play basketball.”

Green was suspended five games by the NBA for putting Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert into a headlock during an altercation in November.

FILE – Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, front, and Draymond Green, left, gets into an altercation with Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert, back, during the first half of an in-season NBA tournament basketball game in San Francisco, Nov. 14, 2023. Green has been suspended indefinitely by the NBA on Wednesday, Dec. 13. (AP File/Jed Jacobsohn)

Previous Suspensions

There is little precedent for an indefinite suspension. In 2010, then-Commissioner David Stern suspended Washington guard Gilbert Arenas indefinitely for bringing firearms into the team locker room. That was a precursor to what became a 50-game suspension for Arenas, after Stern said “his ongoing conduct … led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game.”

Last season during training camp, Green took a leave of absence from the 2022 NBA champions in what coach Steve Kerr called a “mutual decision” after the star forward violently punched then-teammate Jordan Poole in the face. Neither player was injured.

Green’s Future with the Warriors

New Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy said when he got the job after last season ended that he was committed to keeping Green, who then shortly after received a new $100 million, four-year contract in late June. Kerr has always said he loves Green’s fiery, push-the-limits style of play — but it will be interesting to see how both sides come through this latest discipline.

Last spring, Green was suspended for a Game 3 playoff win against the Sacramento Kings after stepping on the chest of Domantas Sabonis during a Game 2 defeat. The Warriors became the first defending champion to rally from an 0-2 deficit to win a playoff series.

Golden State suspended Green for one game in November 2018 for conduct detrimental to the team. In the closing seconds of regulation during a 121-116 overtime loss on the road to the Clippers, Green secured a rebound and with Kevin Durant calling for the ball instead dribbled the length of the court into traffic and lost control as the Warriors failed to get a shot off. Durant was shown on camera visibly upset and the two got into it afterward.

In 2016, Green was suspended for a crucial Game 5 loss to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals after accumulating too many flagrant fouls in the playoffs that season. The Warriors wound up losing in seven games. Then-GM Bob Myers sat with Green next door to Oracle Arena at the Oakland Coliseum for that game Green missed.

Green’s Performance and Team Chemistry

A second-round draft pick in 2012 out of Michigan State, Green is averaging 9.7 points, 5.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds in 15 games this season. He has repeatedly said recently how chemistry is much-improved this season. Poole was traded to Washington on draft day for Chris Paul.

Green said “it was hard to come to work” and “not fun.”

“Last year we had an awful team as far as chemistry goes — pathetic,” he said. ” You look at last year and say, ‘Ah man, this team hasn’t lost a Western Conference series under Steve Kerr.’ And then it happens. The big reason why is our chemistry sucked.”

 

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