The In-Season Tournament game between the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves took an intense turn just minutes after tip-off. It all started when Warriors guard Klay Thompson and Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels got tangled up after a missed jump shot by Anthony Edwards. The situation quickly escalated as McDaniels grabbed hold of Thompson's jersey, tearing it in the process. Players from both teams rushed to the scene, with Warriors forward Draymond Green even putting Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a headlock. The chaos was captured on video and showed just how out of hand things had become.
Following a thorough review of the incident, the officials handed out punishments to the involved players. McDaniels and Thompson were both given technical fouls and ejected for their role in the fight. Warriors coach Steve Kerr expressed his frustration with Thompson's ejection, arguing that McDaniels initiated the altercation and that Thompson should not have received the same punishment. Kerr deemed the decision to eject Thompson as ridiculous.
The officiating crew chief, Tyler Ford, explained their reasoning behind the ejections. According to Ford, both players were ejected because they were involved in a physical altercation that did not immediately dissolve, and their actions warranted such punishment. In addition to the ejections, Green was assessed a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2 for his actions on Gobert, resulting in an automatic ejection for him as well.
When asked about the altercation, Gobert did not mince words, stating that Green had attempted to choke him and that it could have been much worse if Green knew how to properly execute the move. Gobert maintained that he was merely trying to show the officials that he was not escalating the situation by keeping his hands up.
This was the second ejection for Green in just four days, as he was also ejected from a previous game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The timing of the ejections was unfortunate for the Warriors, who were already playing without their star player, Stephen Curry. Losing three of their starters within the first two minutes of a crucial In-Season Tournament Game certainly had an impact on the Warriors' performance, ultimately leading to a 104-101 loss.
Given Green's repeat offense, it remains to be seen if he will face any further disciplinary action from the league. The incident between Green and Gobert adds another chapter to their contentious history. The two players have exchanged jabs in the past, with Green mocking Gobert's emotional response to an All-Star snub and Gobert calling out Green for his insecurity. Following the game, Gobert referred to Green's behavior as "clown-like" and suggested that Green purposefully got himself ejected due to Curry's absence.