The NBA in-season tournament game between the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves witnessed a tumultuous altercation leading to the ejection of key players. Draymond Green, Klay Thompson of the Warriors, and Jaden McDaniels of the Timberwolves were expelled from the game within the first two minutes, leaving fans and players alike in shock.
The conflict ignited when Thompson and McDaniels engaged in a physical tussle during transition. The situation escalated rapidly when Warriors’ Green intervened, putting Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a headlock and dragging him for several seconds. This aggressive move prompted the officials to eject Green for a flagrant 2 foul, categorizing his actions as unnecessary and excessive.
In a tight sequence of events, both Thompson and McDaniels received double technicals, leading to their automatic ejection with the game still scoreless. This incident marks Green’s 18th career ejection, the highest among active NBA players, and follows a similar ejection last weekend under controversial circumstances.
Postgame, crew chief Tyler Ford clarified that Green’s ejection was due to his aggressive conduct towards Gobert, who was deemed a peacemaker for his efforts to separate Thompson and McDaniels. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves secured a 104-101 victory, advancing to 2-0 in the West Group C standings, with the Warriors at 1-1.
Reactions to the incident were mixed, with McDaniels claiming self-defense and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr alleging Gobert had his hands on Thompson’s neck, sparking Green’s reaction. Gobert criticized Green’s behavior as “clown behavior.” The Warriors were already at a disadvantage, missing Stephen Curry due to knee soreness, and the ejections of Thompson and Green further depleted their strength.
Drama already in the Warriors/Timberwolves game 👀 pic.twitter.com/JB1CajMyU6
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) November 15, 2023
hes been waiting to do this forever pic.twitter.com/b5ZmWzgyWw
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 15, 2023
The altercation adds another chapter to the ongoing rivalry between Green and Gobert, which has seen previous tensions. Last season, Gobert had subtly criticized Green’s conduct in a team practice incident, hinting at underlying tensions between the two players.
This incident, while being a significant moment in the NBA season, raises questions about player conduct and the intensity of on-court rivalries. As the league reviews the incident, further consequences, possibly including suspensions, loom for the involved players, especially Green.