Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green found himself in hot water on Tuesday night after he wildly swung his arm and connected with the face of Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic.
The two battled for position in the third quarter of the Suns’ 119-116 win. Green was attempting to gain footing in the corner when he turned around and clocked Nurkic. Green was ejected over the incident.
“He was pulling my hip and I was swinging away to sell the call,” the Warriors star explained after the game. “I made contact with him. As you know, I’m not one to apologize for things I meant to do, but I do apologize to Jusuf, because I didn’t intend to hit him.”
It is the second incident in as many months for Green. Last month, he got tangled up with Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert and put the player in a chokehold.
He was suspended five games for the incident and could be facing another suspension over the Nurkic incident.
“What’s going on him, I don’t know,” the Suns player said. “Personally, I feel like that brother needs help. I’m glad he didn’t try to choke me … That had nothing to do with basketball. I’m just out there trying to play basketball.”
It was Green’s 18th career ejection – the most among active NBA players.
“We need him, we need Draymond,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He knows that, we’ve talked to him. He’s got to find a way to keep his poise and be out there for his teammates.”
The Suns improved to 13-10 on the year. The Warriors fell to 10-13.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.