LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Rudy Gobert called out the “clown behavior” of Draymond Green and called on the National Basketball Association to “do what needs to be done” after the Golden State Warriors star seized him in a headlock on Tuesday.
The altercation in the opening minutes of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ victory over the Warriors on Tuesday night saw Green ejected.
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.
Neither team had even scored a basket when the incident occurred, but Gobert said he would 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.”
Green’s ejection could be followed up by further punishment from the league, with a decision reportedly likely before the Warriors host Oklahoma City on Thursday.
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.
In announcing that decision, NBA executive vice president Joe Dumars said Green’s “excessive and over-the-top actions” and detrimental conduct as a “repeat offender” were factors.
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.