Well, it happened again. Early in the third quarter of the Golden State Warriors nationally-televised game against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, Draymond Green was ejected after striking Suns center Jusuf Nurkić in the face.
Green and Nurkić were caught up in the corner of the court while Golden State had the ball. There was a lot of contact between the two, with refs missing a fairly clear foul on Nurkić. Green, upset at the lack of a whistle, spun around with his arm out, and smacked Nurkić hard across the face in the process.
Phoenix’s big man hit the ground and stayed down for a while, but was able to stay in the game. A foul was called, and the play was reviewed by the officiating crew. After a short replay review, Green’s foul was upgraded to a Flagrant 2, which comes with an automatic ejection.
It was a fairly foolish play by Green. I do think he was turning around to argue the non-call rather than hit Nurkić, but he has to know better than to swing around violently with his arms out ... especially when he knows that there’s a player right behind him.
There are times where Green’s reputation precedes him when it comes to technical fouls and ejections; this was not one of those plays. It would be a clear Flagrant 2 even if Steph Curry had committed the act.
It’s the third time that Green has been ejected this season, and each time it’s been with the game very much hanging in the balance. Golden State simply needs him to be better.
Here’s the play:
Draymond has been ejected after flagrant foul on Nurkić pic.twitter.com/RmrLU5tdw8— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 13, 2023
Green and the Warriors will now have to wait and hope that he isn’t punished further with a suspension or a fine.