Draymond Green is not here to make friends. He’s here to defend the friends he’s already got.
That’s how the polarizing Golden State Warriors player justified his recent altercation with Rudy Gobert. He told reporters on Sunday that he doesn’t regret defending Klay Thompson by putting Gobert in a headlock.
“I don’t live my life with regrets,” he said, according to ESPN.
He continued, “I’ll come to a teammate’s defense any time that I’m in a position to come to a teammate’s defense. ... What matters to me is how the people that I care about feel, first and foremost. How are the people that I care about affected? How are the people I care about, what do they have to deal with? That’s it for me.”
Why was Draymond Green suspended?
Green shared those thoughts during his first meeting with reporters since serving a five-game suspension for the headlock.
The suspension was handed down on Nov. 15, one day after a fight broke out between Green’s Warriors and Gobert’s Minnesota Timberwolves.
Less than two minutes into the Nov. 14 game, Klay Thompson of the Warriors and Jaden McDaniels of the Timberwolves started pushing and shoving one another. Gobert then grabbed Thompson to defend McDaniels, which prompted Green to choke Gobert.
Thompson, McDaniels and Gobert were each fined $25,000 by the NBA for the fight, while Green was deemed to have behaved in an “unsportsmanlike and dangerous manner” and suspended without pay, according to NBA.com.
After the incident, Gobert criticized Green for his action.
“That’s just clown behavior,” he said, according to KSL.
Reactions to Draymond Green
Green’s comments on the headlock and subsequent suspension haven’t won him many fans.
In a column for CBS, Brad Botkin argued that it’s laughable for Green to claim that his actions were justified.
“The video speaks for itself. Green is no hero. He’s a hotheaded bully who jumped at the chance to attack Gobert, with whom he has had longstanding beef with,” Botkin wrote.
Monte Poole, who writes about the Warriors for NBC Sports, noted that it’s better to be there for your teammates by actually appearing in games than to be there for them by getting suspended.
“(Green’s) mission is to understand the distinction between the intensely competitive behavior that that makes him a great player and that which qualifies him as a ruffian and, therefore, unavailable,” Poole wrote.
Green is eligible to return to action on Tuesday, when the Warriors take on the Sacramento Kings.
“The Warriors have lost eight of their past 11 games — four of those losses without Green,” ESPN reported.