In a dramatic turn of events during Tuesday night’s game between the Golden State Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves, center Rudy Gobert found himself in a headlock courtesy of Warriors star Draymond Green, leading Gobert to label Green’s actions as “just clown behavior.”
Gobert expressed his pre-game anticipation, noting, “It’s kind of funny because before the game, I was telling myself that Steph (Curry) is not playing, so I know Draymond is going to try and get ejected.” He went on to suggest that Green’s strong loyalty to Curry often motivates such behavior, especially when Curry is absent from the lineup.
Proudly asserting his composure in the face of adversity, Gobert stated, “I’m proud of myself for being the bigger man again and again. And yeah, he doesn’t even deserve me putting my hands on him. My team needed me tonight.” Gobert emphasized his efforts to maintain his cool during the altercation, expressing hope that the league would address what he deemed “clown behavior.”
The on-court scuffle resulted in the ejection of both Green and Timberwolves’ Jaden McDaniels, leaving none of the Warriors’ “big three” – Green, Curry, and Klay Thompson – on the court for the final 46 minutes of the game. Curry was sidelined with a right-knee injury, and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr labeled his status as “day-to-day.”
Remarkably, Tuesday’s altercation marked the first time in 25 years that multiple players were ejected from a game before either team made a basket, underscoring the unprecedented nature of the incident.
This isn’t the first time Gobert and Green have engaged in verbal sparring. In 2019, Green mocked Gobert for expressing disappointment over not making that season’s All-Star game. The headlock incident on Tuesday marked the 18th ejection of Green’s 12-season career.
Sportradar statistics revealed an interesting correlation between Green’s ejections and Curry’s presence on the court. In the 652 career games with Curry in the lineup, Green was ejected only 11 times, accounting for 1.6 percent of the time. In contrast, in 115 games without Curry, Green faced ejection seven times, equivalent to 6.1 percent of games.
As the league reviews the incident, the clash between Gobert and Green adds another chapter to their history of on-court exchanges.