The Warriors are dealing with the fallout of Draymond Green’s 5-game suspension for putting Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a choke hold, a penalty head coach Steve Kerr said was warranted.
“He definitely took it too far,” Kerr said Thursday. “I didn’t have a problem with him getting Rudy off of Klay, because the rule of thumb is you don’t put your hands on a player on the other team — you get your own guy. So I thought Rudy was wrong for putting his arms on Klay, regardless of his intentions. So I had no problem with Draymond getting him off of him, but he’s got to let go. And he hung on for six, seven seconds. It was a terrible visual for the league, for Draymond, for everybody. Draymond was wrong, he knows that, it’s a bad look. The five games is deserved. We move forward.”
Green is out for Thursday night’s contest against Oklahoma City and the Warriors’ next four games, making him eligible to return Tuesday, Nov. 28.
According to the pool report following Tuesday night’s incident, the officials deemed Gobert a “peacemaker” for his role in the skirmish. Gobert, Thompson and Jaden McDaniels were each fined, but not suspended.
Initially, Kerr explained away Green’s role in the skirmish because he was sticking up for his teammate, saying “If you watch the replay, Rudy had his hands on Klay’s neck…That’s why Draymond went after Rudy.” His tone after the suspension was much different.
Kerr said he and Green had a “long talk” about the four-time All-Star’s behavior.
“It’s something we are working hard on behind the scenes,” Kerr said. “Draymond has to find a way to not cross the line. And I’m not talking about getting an ejection, getting a technical, I’m talking about a physical act of violence. That’s inexcusable. So we have to do everything we can to give him the help and assistance he needs to draw that distinction between being an incredible competitor — which he’s always been, which is why he’s in the position he’s in, which is why he’s the player he is. But he can’t cross that line. He crossed it the other night, for sure.”
Asked what “the line” is, Kerr said Tuesday night’s line was clear, and that Green crossed it as soon as he put his hands around Gobert’s neck.
The incident earned Green his 19th career ejection, including the postseason, and will hurt the 6-6 Warriors going forward. Golden State is also still without Stephen Curry, who’s dealing with a minor knee injury. Against Oklahoma City, GSW is starting Chris Paul, Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga and Dario Saric.
“The line is when you’re not going to be there for the next five games for your teammates, at a time when they need you,” Kerr said. “Understanding the repercussions of the actions, understanding the impact on the team, understanding the visual. I know Draymond, and he’s a wonderful human being. He’s filled with passion and love and respect for his teammates. But that is a bad look. That’s a bad look. He knows that, and he’s embarrassed by that. That’s the line.”