SAN FRANCISCO — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr did not hesitate Thursday to call out forward Draymond Green for the actions that landed him a five-game suspension.
“He took it too far,” Kerr said ahead of the Warriors’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. “Draymond was wrong. He knows that. It’s a bad look, and the five games are deserved.”
On Tuesday night, Green was one of three players ejected after a fight during which he grabbed Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert around the neck.
Green initially made contact with Gobert after Gobert tried to pull Klay Thompson off Jaden McDaniels. The altercation had started when Thompson and McDaniels got tied up with one another in transition.
Coaches and players forced Green off Gobert as others separated McDaniels and Thompson. After a review, McDaniels and Thompson were assessed two technical fouls each, and Green was given a flagrant foul 2.
“I don’t have a problem with [Green] trying to get Rudy off of Klay … but he’s got to let go,” Kerr said. “He hung on for six, seven seconds. It was a terrible visual for the league, for Draymond and for everybody.”
The NBA announced Green’s suspension Wednesday night, and in a statement, NBA executive vice president Joe Dumars said Green had escalated an on-court altercation “in an unsportsmanlike and dangerous manner.”
Dumars also said Green’s past offenses played a role in the length of the suspension.
“Draymond has to find a way to not cross the line,” Kerr said. “I’m not talking about getting an ejection or a technical, I’m talking about a physical act of violence. That’s inexcusable. We have to do everything we can to give him the help and assistance he needs to be able to draw that distinction between being an incredible competitor … but he can’t cross that line. He crossed it the other night, for sure.”
This is Green’s fifth career suspension. Most recently, he was suspended for Game 3 of the first round of the playoffs against Sacramento last season after he stomped on the chest of Kings center Domantas Sabonis.
Most notably, Green was suspended for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals.