Rudy Gobert called out the “clown behavior” of Draymond Green after the Golden State Warriors star seized him in a headlock in the opening minutes of the Minnesota Timberwolves victory on Tuesday.
Green, who was ejected, was given a five-game suspension by the NBA on Wednesday. He will begin his suspension on Thursday when the Warriors host the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr insisted his fiery forward was just defending teammate Klay Thompson–who had tangled with Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels–but Gobert made it clear after the contest he thought Green had gone too far.
“I do hope the league’s going to do whatever needs to be done because that’s just clown behavior,” the French center said.
The NBA added that Thompson, McDaniels and Gobert had been fined $25,000 each.
Neither team had even scored a basket when the incident occurred, but Gobert said he’d had a premonition that Green would try to get himself tossed from the game because superstar teammate Stephen Curry was sitting out with knee trouble.
“It’s kind of funny because before the game, I was telling myself that Steph is not playing, so I know Draymond is going to try and get ejected,” Gobert said.
“Because every time Steph doesn’t play, he doesn’t want to play. It’s his guy, Steph. He’ll do anything he can to get ejected.”
Last season, Green was suspended for one game after he stomped on the chest of Domantas Sabonis in a playoff game against the Sacramento Kings.
Tuesday’s scuffle–with Green’s actions described by some as more of a choke-hold than a headlock–can only intensify bad feeling between Green and Gobert, who have needled each other via social media in the past.
When Green punched former teammate Jordan Poole during a practice prior to last season, Gobert tweeted: “Insecurity is always loud.”
When Gobert took a swing at teammate Kyle Anderson in the Timberwolves’ last regular-season game last season Green was quick to fire back with the same tweet.
While three players–Green, Thompson and McDaniels–were tossed from Tuesday’s game, Gobert was deemed to have been trying to play peacemaker and remained in the contest.
“I’m proud of myself for being the bigger man again and again,” Gobert said. “It doesn’t really deserve me putting my hands on him. My team needed me. I did whatever I could to keep my cool.”