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Draymond Green suspended indefinitely from NBA after wild swing on Jusuf Nurkić as Warriors lose to Suns

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been suspended indefinitely following an on-court altercation earlier this week, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced on Wednesday. 

The 33-year-old was ejected during his team’s 119-116 defeat to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.

During the third quarter while being guarded by the center, Green spun around and struck Jusuf Nurkić in the face with his right arm, dropping him to the ground.

The officials reviewed the incident and deemed it a flagrant 2 foul, which results in an automatic ejection from the game.

Green asserted after the game that the hit was accidental.

“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 was just selling the call because he was grabbing me and pulling my hip, so I spun away and, unfortunately, I hit him.”

Jusuf Nurkić receives treatment after being hit in the face by Green.Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The NBA said it “takes into account Green’s repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts.”

This was Green’s third ejection of the season. He was kicked out of Golden State’s November 11 matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers after receiving two technical fouls before being involved in another high-profile incident three days later when he put Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a headlock.

The former defensive player of the year was handed a five-game suspension as a result of the latter, with the length of the suspension being partly “attributed to Green’s history of unsportsmanlike acts,” the NBA said in a statement.

Green was also suspended for one game in April after stepping on the chest of Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis.

The latest suspension will begin immediately, and Green will “be required to meet certain league and team conditions before he returns to play,” the NBA said in a statement.

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

Green has been suspended indefinitely by the league.Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

“Draymond is still a really good player. We need him if we are going to be a really good team.”

When asked about the incident after the game, Nurkić said: “What’s going on with him? I don’t know. Personally, I feel like that brother needs help.

“It had nothing to do with basketball. I’m just out there trying to play basketball and they’re swinging,” he added.

Despite the loss of their starting power forward and primary defender, the Warriors were able to keep things close throughout. Two-time MVP Steph Curry put up 24 points, five rebounds and four assists, while rookie Brandon Podziemski had 20 points, 11 rebounds and five assists off the bench.

The Suns, who were without star forward and former Warrior Kevin Durant due to injury, began to pull away late in the fourth quarter but nearly saw the win slip away when the Warriors went on an 8-1 run inside the final minute and a half of the game.

Fortunately for Phoenix, the Warriors were forced to play the foul game with limited time left, and the Suns made no mistakes with their free throws to ice the contest.

Phoenix’s Devin Booker dunks the ball during the game.Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images

All-Star guard Devin Booker had 32 points, four rebounds and seven assists and Bradley Beal, making his return from a back injury, posted 16 points, three rebounds and three assists.

The Suns are now 13-10 after a big win over their Western Conference rivals, while the Warriors – in the midst of an uncharacteristically slow start to the season – are 10-13 and 11th in the conference, outside of the postseason Play-In spots.

Golden State is next scheduled to play the Clippers in Los Angeles on Thursday.

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