NBA suspends Draymond Green indefinitely, cites 'repeated history'

ByKendra Andrews ESPN logo
Thursday, December 14, 2023

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been suspended indefinitely by the NBA for striking Phoenix Suns centerJusuf Nurkiin the face during Tuesday night's game, the league announced Wednesday.

Green received a flagrant foul 2 for striking Nurkiand was subsequently ejected for the third time this season. According to the NBA's release, the indefinite suspension "takes into account Green's repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts."

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

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

Green, Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Green's agent, Rich Paul, are expected to meet Thursday to start discussing a path of counseling and assistance for Green to move forward, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The league didn't want to put a specific number on the suspension but wants to allow Green the time he needs to deal with the challenges he's facing.

Green will be docked$153,941 per game if his suspension is fewer than 20 games and$202,922 per game if more than 20 games.

Green's three ejections are tied for his most in a season. His first came after he picked up two technical fouls against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 11. His second occurred against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 14 when he put Rudy Gobert in a headlock. The NBA suspended Green for five games after the latter incident, with the league citing Green's history as a repeat offender for the length of the suspension.

Green was ejected with 8:23 left in the third quarter Tuesday after he swung and hit Nurki in the head while defending him. At first, while Green's back was turned to Nurki, he repeatedly held Nurki off him. Eventually, Green turned and hit Nurki in the head with his hand. Officials deemed the foul a flagrant 2 after a video review.

"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 said after the game. "I sell calls with my arms ... so I was selling the call ... and I swung and unfortunately I hit him."

The Warriors have made it very clear to Green that they need him on the floor. That need is greater now than ever, as Golden State sits at 10-13 with two of its most important players,Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, struggling.

"We need him. We need Draymond. He knows that," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Tuesday. "We've talked to him. He's got to find a way to keep his poise and be out there for his teammates."

Green acknowledged Kerr's message.

"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."

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.

A source told ESPN last month that the Warriors have lost their leverage with disciplining Green after failing to hold him accountable for punching former teammate Jordan Poole at last year's training camp.

When Green stomped onSacramento'sDomantas Sabonis during the first round of last season's playoffs, the Warriors defended and stood by him. They did the same after the incident with Gobert in November, though Kerr did say his actions were "inexcusable."

Green, 33, has been ejected 18 times in his career -- most among active NBA players.

Information from ESPN's Bobby Marks and The Associated Press was included in this report.

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