GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

Draymond Green: Smack that led to ejection was accidental

Dec 12, 2023, 9:19 PM | Updated: Dec 13, 2023, 6:49 am

Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors looks to pass around Bradley Beal #3 of the Phoenix...

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 12: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors looks to pass around Bradley Beal #3 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on December 12, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green maintained that the arm swing that caught Phoenix Suns big man Jusuf Nurkic in the face and led to his ejection on Tuesday was an accident.

Green was thrown out of the game for delivering a wild open-hand punch that caught Nurkic.

Nurkic was defending Green and had a hand on Green’s hip when Green turned and swung and made contact. The blow sent Nurkic down to the floor and an offensive foul was called on Green with 8:23 left in the third quarter.

The three-person officiating crew reviewed video of the play and upgraded the original call to a flagrant foul 2, with referee Brian Forte terming Green’s actions as “unnecessary and excessive contact to the face.”

After the game, which Phoenix won 119-116, Green apologized to Nurkic, “because I didn’t intend to hit him.”

“He was grabbing my hip, so I spun away and unfortunately I hit him,” Green said. “So, like I said, I apologize to Jusuf.”

Green added that he threw his arm in an attempt to sell a foul call.

Green, a four-time All-Star, has been prone to ill-disciplined incidents throughout his career. Last month, he drew a five-game suspension for “forcibly grabbing” Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert around the neck during an altercation.

After the game Tuesday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Green has “got to find a way to keep his poise and be out there for his teammates.”

Green, 33, had two points, two rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes prior to his ejection.

–Field Level Media

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