Draymond Green puts Rudy Gobert in headlock during Warriors-Timberwolves brawl

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green was among three players ejected in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday in San Francisco. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
1 of 5 | Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green was among three players ejected in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday in San Francisco. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Veteran forward Draymond Green put center Rudy Gobert in a headlock amid an on-court brawl during a Golden State Warriors loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves and could face league discipline.

The fracas occurred less than 2 minutes into the Timberwolves' 104-101 victory in the NBA in-season tournament game Tuesday in San Francisco.


"It kinda put the game on edge from the jump," Timberwolves coach Chris Finch told reporters. "I think the teams played like that for most of the game.

"It felt super chippy and physical. It was not a very pretty game, but it was good to win it."

Green grabbed a rebound at the start of the sequence and tossed the ball to guard Chris Paul. Paul dribbled near half court, with guard Klay Thompson running ahead in transition.


Thompson and Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels then got tangled up, grabbing each other's jerseys and exchanging pushes. Several other Warriors and Timberwolves players then joined in, including Green.

Gobert got between McDaniels and Thompson, grabbing Thompson before Green ran into the skirmish.

The Warriors forward jumped behind Gobert, placing his right arm around his neck and pulling him backwards. Referees, coaches and players eventually resolved the matter and resumed the game.

McDaniels, Thompson and Green were ejected for their roles in the incident.

"He kinda grabbed me by my collar," McDaniels said of Thompson. "I was just trying to defend myself and get him off me. The rest is what it is."

Green and Thompson did not talk to reporters after the game, but Gobert called Green a clown for his role in the fight.

"It was clown behavior, and I'm proud of myself for being the bigger man again and again," Gobert told reporters, according to the Star Tribune. "And yeah, [Green] doesn't even deserve me putting my hands on him.

"My team needed me. I did whatever I could to keep my cool and then show that I wasn't making the situation worse, and I do hope that the league is going to do what needs to be done because that's just clown behavior. Not much to say. It's clown behavior."


The Warriors went on to outscore the Timberwolves 30-22 in the first quarter. The Timberwolves edged the Warriors 32-29 in the second, but trailed 59-54 at halftime. The Timberwolves outscored the Warriors 50-42 in the second half, including 28-18 over the final 12 minutes.

Gobert totaled nine points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns scored a game-high 33 points and logged 11 rebounds. Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards totaled 20 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Green logged two rebounds and did not score in his 1:43 of action. Thompson did not register any statistics over the same timeframe. Guard Brandin Podziemski scored 23 points off the Warriors bench.

Tuesday's incident is just the latest chapter in a history of physical altercations involving Green and other players, including his own teammates.

The 33-year-old forward has been suspended several times during postseason runs, including earlier this year, for stomping on Domantas Sabonis during a Warriors playoff loss to the Sacramento Kings.

The Warriors suspended Green multiple times for altercations with teammates, including run-ins with Kevin Durant and Jordan Poole.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he wasn't sure if Green would be suspended for the latest incident. He also disagreed with Thompson's ejection.


"There is no way Klay Thompson should have been ejected," Kerr said. "That was ridiculous. So I was upset about that. The Draymond piece of it, if you watch the replay, Rudy had his hands on Klay's neck. That's why Draymond went after Rudy.

"I saw one replay right after it happened. Guys on the bench were telling us Rudy had Klay and that's why Draymond went in. It was a bizarre way to start the game."

Crew chief Tyler Ford said in a pool report that Gobert was not ejected because he was "attempting to separate Thomson and McDaniels and was ruled to be a peacemaker."

"We reviewed all other players and acts and no other unsportsmanlike acts were observed," Ford said.

The Timberwolves (8-2) will play the Phoenix Suns (4-6) at 9 p.m. EST Wednesday in Phoenix. The Warriors (6-6) will host the Oklahoma City Thunder (7-4) at 10 p.m. Thursday at Chase Center.

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