NBA suspends Golden State Warriors star, Draymond Green, indefinitely after ejection for striking Jusuf Nurkic

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green will serve his second suspension of the NBA season after hitting Jusuf Nurkic in the face; the league said the decision was influenced by a “repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts” from the four-time All-Star

Draymond Green apologised for striking Jusuf Nurkic, claiming he didn’t mean to hit the Phoenix Suns center.

Following the 18th ejection of his career, the most for any active NBA player, the league announced on Wednesday, 13th, an unprecedented indefinite penalty that will begin with immediate effect. The suspension is Green’s second of the current season, with the 33-year-old having served a five-game ban in November after putting Minnesota Timberwolves centre Rudy Gobert in a headlock during another on-court scuffle.

“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.”

ESPN reported on Wednesday that Green, Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr., and Green’s agent Rich Paul were expected to meet on Thursday to start discussing a path of counselling and assistance for Green to move forward

Green and Nurkic were on court battling for position early in the third quarter, when the two got tangled. The Golden State forward appeared to slightly lose his balance, but then inexplicably wheeled around and smacked Nurkic in the face.

Without four-time All-Star Green on the court for the remainder of the game, the Warriors lost 119-116 against the Suns.

Nurkic immediately fell to the ground but eventually got up and stayed in the game. The referees reviewed the play before calling Green for a Flagrant 2 foul, which results in an automatic ejection.

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

Green offered an apology in his post-game press conference, suggesting that he did not intend to hit the Phoenix Suns center.

Green was given a five-game suspension after he put Rudy Gobert in a headlock.

Green, the 2016-2017 NBA defensive player of the year, also sat out Game Five of the 2016 NBA Finals for committing a flagrant foul on Cleveland’s LeBron James in the prior game.

Green’s former Warriors teammate Kevin Durant, who now plays for the Suns, reacted to news of the suspension on Wednesday.

“Yeah, that was insane to see. I’m glad (Jusuf) Nurk(ic) is alright. I never seen that before on a basketball court in an NBA game. I hope Draymond (Green) gets the help he needs,” said the two-time NBA champion.

“It’s been an incident after an incident. I know Draymond, and that’s not…you know, 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 gets back on the court, and you know, puts all the stuff behind him.”

The Warriors, with whom Green has won four NBA titles since being drafted in 2012, are currently outside the Western Conference playoff places after a 10-13 start to the season.

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