Draymond Green: Golden State head coach Steve Kerr admits five-game ban is ‘deserved’ after forward ‘took it too far’ by choking Rudy Gobert


Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was critical of Draymond Green after the veteran forward was handed a five-game suspension for choking Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert.

Green received the fifth suspension of his career for grabbing Gobert around the neck as tempers flared during Golden State’s loss to Minnesota on Tuesday night.

Before their 128-109 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday, Kerr told the media that Green’s prolonged standoff was inexcusable. He also approved the five-match suspension imposed on Green.

“He went too far,” Kerr said. “Draymond was wrong. He knows that. It looks bad and the five games are deserved.’

The incident occurred in the second minute of Minnesota and Golden State’s In-Season Tournament game. Green’s teammate Klay Thompson and Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniel’s first brush with jersey pulling came when Gobert stepped in to defuse the situation.

Golden State head coach Steve Kerr (right) believes Draymond Green (left) deserved his five-game suspension for his role in the Warriors-Timberwolves battle

During a scuffle, Green grabbed Gobert by the neck and dragged him across the field

At that point, Green came from behind and lowered his arm under Gobert’s chin for seven seconds.

“I don’t have a problem with (Green) trying to get Rudy off Klay, but he has to let go,” Kerr added. ‘It hung there for six or seven seconds. It was a terrible picture for the league, for Draymond and for everyone.”

Aside from Green’s suspension, the NBA fined Thompson, McDaniels and Gobert each $25,000 for the incident. Green, Thompson and McDaniels were all ejected before the Timberwolves won the game 104-101.

The players involved behaved “in an unsportsmanlike and dangerous manner,” NBA vice president Joe Dumars said in a statement.

“Draymond has to find a way not to cross the line,” Kerr said. “I’m not talking about an eviction or a technical glitch, I’m talking about a physical act of violence. That’s unforgivable.

“We have to do everything we can to give him the help and assistance he needs to make that distinction between an incredible competitor, but he can’t cross that line. He must have crossed it last night.’

Kerr admits his veteran forward has ‘gone too far’ and deserves his subsequent ban

With his fifth suspension of his career, Green continues to live up to his unpleasant reputation in the NBA. Green’s latest suspension came after he stomped on the chest of Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis in the opening round of last year’s playoffs.

Green also drew criticism after punching former teammate Jordan Poole during the Warriors’ preseason camp last October. Green later admitted that the hit affected the team’s chemistry throughout the season.

The Warriors are currently 6-7 this season. They snap a five-game skid in another matchup against the Thunder on Saturday.