Draymond Green got ejected for taking matters into his own hands — well, arms — on Tuesday.
The Golden State Warriors big man, teammate Klay Thompson and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels were ejected from an NBA in-season tournament game following a brawl that erupted in the first two minutes.
The brawl began when Thompson and McDaniels started pulling and shoving each other in transition. Wolves center Rudy Gobert moved in to pull back Thompson, but was in turn grabbed by Green, who put the 7-footer in a headlock and violently dragged him away for a good seven seconds.
— Ball Don’t Lie (@Balldontlie) November 15, 2023
Thompson and McDaniels were both assessed double technicals, while Green was hit with a flagrant 2 foul, all automatic ejections. The score was still 0-0.
That likely won't be the end to the consequences for Green, who could be facing a suspension in the coming days. Further replay was not kind to the idea that he was just trying to keep the peace:
hes been waiting to do this forever pic.twitter.com/b5ZmWzgyWw
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 15, 2023
An underrated moment in that clip was Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns attempting to give Green a taste of his own medicine while pulling him off Gobert and getting no purchase, as Green kept his chin down like a veteran MMA fighter.
This was the 18th ejection, postseason included, of Green's career, increasing his lead among active NBA players. He received his 17th ejection just last weekend, but under far more questionable circumstances.
Meanwhile, Thompson didn't seem to agree with his own ejection:
— Bally Sports North (@BallySportsNOR) November 15, 2023
The Timberwolves won 104-101 to move to 2-0 in West Group C of the in-season tournament standings. The Warriors are 1-1.
After the game, crew chief Tyler Ford told a pool reporter Green was assessed a flagrant 2 because "he aggressively put Gobert in a headlock and refuses to let go. This is unnecessary and excessive conduct." Gobert was not disciplined because he "was attempting to separate Thompson and McDaniels and was ruled to be a peacemaker."
Meanwhile, both teams had plenty to say postgame about the altercation with McDaniels claiming he was "just trying to defend myself," and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr saying Gobert had his hands on Thompson's neck, which prompted Green's response. Kerr also defended Thompson, saying he shouldn't have been ejected.
Gobert called Green's conduct "clown behavior."
Multiple times Rudy Gobert referred to Draymond Green’s chokehold of him as “clown behavior.” Said he just wanted to keep his cool, put his hands up and not react because he knew the Wolves needed him to stay in the game. Said he figured Draymond would do something with Steph out
— Chris Hine (@ChristopherHine) November 15, 2023
The Warriors began the game already without Stephen Curry, who is sidelined due to right knee soreness. In the span of 10 seconds, they lost the other two members of their longtime trio, with at least 46 minutes left to play.
There is some past history between Green and Gobert, though there's no telling if any of it was on Green's mind Tuesday. At the beginning of last season, Gobert no-so-subtly poked Green after the latter was reported to have punched then-teammate Jordan Poole in practice, writing "Insecurity is always loud."