NBA Suspends Draymond Green Indefinitely, Citing ‘Repeat History’

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been suspended indefinitely by the NBA for striking Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic in the face during Tuesday night’s game, the league announced Wednesday.

Green received a flagrant foul 2 for hitting Nurkic and was subsequently ejected for the third time this season. According to the NBA’s release, the indefinite suspension “takes into account Green’s history of repeated unsportsmanlike conduct.”

The league said the fines, issued by chief operations officer Joe Dumars, are effective immediately. It’s already Green’s second suspension of the season.

“He must meet certain league and team conditions before he can return to play,” the NBA said.

Green, Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Green’s agent Rich Ball are expected to meet Thursday and begin discussing a path to help and advice for Green moving forward, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The league doesn’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 faces.

Green is paid $153,941 per game for less than 20 games and $202,922 per game for more than 20 games.

Green’s three sacks are tied for his most in a season. His first came on Nov. 11 against the Cleveland Cavaliers after he picked up two technical fouls. On November 14 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, he stopped Rudy Gobert for a touchdown. The NBA suspended Green for five games after the latter incident, with the league citing Green’s history of repeat offenses for the length of the suspension.

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Green was ejected with 8:23 left in the third quarter Tuesday when he swung and hit Nurkic in the head while defending. First, when Green’s back was turned to Nurkic, he repeatedly blocked Nurkic. Eventually, Green turned and hit Nurkic in the head with his hand. After video review the officials deemed the foul 2 flagrant.

“I’m not one to apologize for the things I think I’ll do, but I’m apologizing to Jusup because I didn’t want to hit him,” Green said after the game. “I sell calls with my hands … so I was selling calls … I swung and unfortunately I hit him.”

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

“We need him. We need Draymond. He knows it,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Tuesday. “We talked to him. He has to find a way to keep his balance and be outside of his teammates.”

Green agreed with Kerr’s message.

“Like I said, if I meant to do it, I’d feel awful about not being there,” Green said. “But my intentions were to sell the wrong ones.”

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The Warriors did not have a statement Wednesday, but said Green’s suspension will be served at Thursday’s shootaround in Los Angeles before the game against the Clippers.

A source told ESPN last month that the Warriors lost the ability to discipline Green after failing to hold him accountable for punching former teammate Jordan Poole in training camp last year.

When Green beat Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis in the first round of last season’s playoffs, the Warriors defended him and stood by him. They did the same after the incident with Gobert in November, though Kerr said his actions were “inexcusable.”

Green, 33, has been ejected 18 times in his career — the most of any active NBA player.

Information from ESPN’s Bobby Marks and The Associated Press is included in this report.

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