Draymond Greene hit with unprecedented suspension as Warriors crisis deepens

San Francisco, California - Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has been "suspended indefinitely" following his clash with Phoenix Suns player Jusuf Nurkic that saw him ejected for the third time this season, the NBA said Wednesday.

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green (r.) has been hit with an indefinite suspension by the NBA after his clash with Jusuf Nurkic of the Phoenix Suns.
Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green (r.) has been hit with an indefinite suspension by the NBA after his clash with Jusuf Nurkic of the Phoenix Suns.  © USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Connect

The NBA said in a statement that Green had been handed an open-ended ban given his "repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts," adding that he would be "required to meet certain league and team conditions" before he is allowed to return to play.

An indefinite suspension is an almost unheard of sanction by the NBA, which more commonly issues bans for a fixed number of games.

Examples of recent hefty suspensions issued to players include the 25-game ban handed to Memphis's Ja Morant in June after he was seen flashing a gun in an online video, and the 30-game ban given to Charlotte's Miles Bridges over domestic violence allegations.

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Green was tossed from the Warriors' 119-116 road defeat against Phoenix on Tuesday after hitting Suns player Jusuf Nurkic in the head to earn a flagrant foul.

The four-time NBA champion later apologized to Nurkic, saying he had accidentally struck the Bosnian after swinging his arm to try and win a foul call, believing he had been illegally held back.

"I thought he was pulling my hip, and I was swinging a way to sell the call, and made contact with him," Green said.

"As you know, I'm not one to apologize for things I meant to do, but I do apologize to Jusuf because I didn't intend to hit him."

Nurkic however was scathing of the incident.

"What's going on with him? I don't know," he said Tuesday. "Personally, I feel like that brother needs help."

Draymond Green's disciplinary record tests Warriors patience

Greene has already been ejected three times this season and previously punched his teammate Jordan Poole during pre-season practice.
Greene has already been ejected three times this season and previously punched his teammate Jordan Poole during pre-season practice.  © USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Connect

The flashpoint came just weeks after Green was issued a five-game suspension for his second ejection of the season, when he grabbed Minnesota's Rudy Gobert in a headlock during the Warriors' defeat to the Timberwolves on November 14.

Green's second suspension of the season is the latest in a long line of brushes with NBA disciplinary chiefs over the years.

The 33-year-old, who was also ejected in the Warriors' defeat to Cleveland earlier in November, was also suspended during the playoffs in April after stamping on Sacramento Kings player Domantas Sabonis.

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In October 2022, Green escaped a suspension by the Warriors after punching teammate Jordan Poole during a pre-season practice.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr later described the incident as the "biggest crisis that we've ever had," but the team decided to levy a fine against Green rather than an in-house suspension.

That incident followed an ejection in Golden State's 2021-2022 playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies after a clash with Brandon Clarke.

He was also infamously suspended for game five of the 2016 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers for a low blow against LeBron James. The flagrant foul led to a one-game ban and Cleveland, down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, won at Golden State on the way to capturing the crown in seven games.

Warriors coach Kerr however has been one of Green's staunchest defenders over the years, maintaining that the four-time NBA All-Star has been an integral part of the team's success over the past decade.

Cover photo: USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Connect

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