Jusuf Nurkic still respects Draymond Green and doesn’t see him any differently after taking a hit in the Warriors’ veteran’s face on Tuesday night.
“I have a lot of respect for him, obviously, even before,” the Phoenix Suns center said before Wednesday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Footprint Center (h/t). Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic) “I have more. I don’t know what people are doing. It’s not our problem, but he’s an NBA champion to me, a Hall of Famer still.”
“It’s kind of sad to see people go in a bad direction,” Nurkic said. “I want him to be successful and still be the Draymond we all know. I have no ill feelings or hatred towards him.
Green was ejected in the third quarter of Golden State’s 119-116 loss to Phoenix after officials assessed him a flagrant 2nd foul for swinging at Nurkic and hitting him in the face during the inbounds play.
Green said after the game that he didn’t want to hit Nurkic. Instead, Green said he believed the Suns big man was holding his groin and was trying to sell a wrong call. Green also said he apologized to Nurkic.
Green has been ejected three times this season.
“What’s going on with him? I don’t know,” Nurkic said after Tuesday’s game. “That brother needs help. I’m glad he’s not choking me. But at the same time, it has nothing to do with basketball. I’m outside trying to play basketball, and they’re outside swinging. .
“I think we’ve seen that often, and whatever he gets in life, I hope it’s good.”
Nurkić said the next day that the NBA would “do what’s best for the league.” [Draymond]”More about discipline. It did.
The NBA announced Wednesday that it had suspended Green indefinitely, citing the Warriors forward’s “continued history of unsportsmanlike conduct” as a factor in the decision.
Green’s suspension is effective immediately, according to the NBA, and he must meet certain league and team conditions before he can return to play.