April 18, 2024

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been suspended indefinitely by the NBA after receiving a Flagrant 2 foul and ejection for hitting Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic in the face during a game Tuesday night.

According to a league statement announcing the move Wednesday evening, the punishment “takes into account Green’s repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts” and Green “will be required to meet certain league and team conditions before he returns to play.”

The Warriors have yet to issue a comment on the suspension. They play the Clippers on Thursday night at Crypto.com Arena.

Phoenix star Kevin Durant, who played with Green on the Warriors from 2016 to 2019, was asked about his former teammate’s foul on Nurkic and indefinite suspension Wednesday night following the Suns’ 116-112 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

“Yeah, that was insane to see,” Durant said of the incident Tuesday night. “Glad Nurk is all right. Never seen that before on a basketball court, in an NBA game. I hope Draymond gets the help he needs. Been incident after incident. I know Draymond and that’s not — he hasn’t been that way when I was around him and coming into the league. So hopefully he gets the help he needs and can get back on the court and put all this stuff behind him.”

Green’s latest ejection, his third this season and 18th overall, occurred at the 8:23 mark of the third quarter against the Suns. He had his back to Nurkic, trying to hold off the Bosnian player as the Warriors attempted to inbound the ball. Green turned around quickly while swinging his right arm, hitting Nurkic in the face and sending him to the floor.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Green apologized for the incident and said he didn’t mean to make contact with Nurkic.

“I’m not one to apologize for things I meant to do,” Green said. “But I do apologize to Jusuf. Even though I didn’t intend to hit him, I sell calls with my arms. I don’t fall to sell a call. I’m not a flopper. I was just selling the call because he was grabbing and pulling my hip. So, I spun away. And, unfortunately, I hit him.

“So, I apologize to Jusuf because I didn’t intend to hit him.”

Green served a five-game suspension earlier this season after putting Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a chokehold during an on-court scuffle Nov. 14. Nurkic made reference to that incident while answering a question about his own run-in with the controversial Warriors player after Tuesday’s game.

“I’m glad he [did] not try to choke me,” Nurkic told reporters. “But at the same time it had nothing to do with basketball, man. I’m just out there trying to play basketball, you know, they’re swinging. … Hopefully whatever he got in his life, it’ll get better.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr had no comment when asked specifically about the incident Tuesday night, but did suggest that Green has a tendency to lose his poise.

“We need Draymond. He knows that,” Kerr said. “We’ve talked to him. He’s gotta find a way to keep his poise and be out there for his teammates.”

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