The Golden State Warriors faced the Phoenix Suns, with Draymond Green and Jusuf Nurkic playing against each other for the first time since their altercation last December. Green was indefinitely suspended from the NBA for hitting Suns center, Nurkic on his face during the Suns vs Warriors game on December 12.
The game was entertaining as the tensions between the two teams, especially Nurkic and Green, were extremely high. The Warriors grabbed a narrow win in this game, defeating Phoenix with a 113-112 scoreline.
Following the game, Jusuf Nurkic lambasted Draymond Green with snarky comments directed at the Warriors forward. One of the pre-conditions for reinstating Green back into the league was that he was undergoing counseling and proving to the Warriors team and the league that he had learned to manage his behavior. But after Saturday’s game, Jusuf Nurkic didn’t think so.
In the post-game conference, Nurkic remarked, “It’s sad. He didn’t learn anything. Just a matter of time. He’s going to hit somebody else again. Take back everything I said. He don’t deserve a chance.”
Seems like Nurkic’s comments created fervor across the Warriors’ locker room, with the star Stephen Curry even remarking them as “idiotic.” Curry said to the Press,
“[Draymond Green] gave us great energy that you need to meet the moment… I know everybody is going to talk about what Jusuf Nurkic said and how idiotic that was.”
Taking further shots at Nurkic, Curry added, “You could tell somebody is in your head when you go out of your way to celebrate and do the little ‘too-small’ thing… All the talk, Draymond was in his head. Plain and simple.”
Draymond Green was quite pleased to see his fellow championship-winning teammate take a stand for him in front of the press. Retweeting Steph’s comments on X, Draymond Green wrote in his quote,
Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/Money23Green/status/1756679554381574425?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
In the recent few games, it is clear that Draymond Green has toned down since returning from his suspension. However, it would be hard to determine if he has fully improved, given he has a proven record of playing extremely physical defense and having outbursts on other people. Fans have started deliberating on how long Draymond Green can hold his cool as the season progresses.
Draymond Green was not happy with Jusuf Nurkic’s celebration on the floor
Jusuf Nurkic was out there to have his revenge on the floor against Draymond Green and the Warriors. Converting a hook shot over the Golden State Warriors forward last night, the Suns center slapped the floor twice and taunted Green with a ‘too small’ gesture.
Green did the same within just two minutes after scooping a bucket over Nurkic’s head. The floor was filled with high tension between these two players, as the animosity clearly hadn’t been cleared out.
In a post-game interview, Green criticized Nurkic’s actions and ridiculed his defensive prowess. The Warriors forward said, “You can’t be a nothing defender if you’re going to do that. You probably outweigh me by 70 pounds and you get put in the rim? Got to be more careful.” Green finished the game with 15 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds in his 30 minutes on the floor.
Ridiculing the Suns center further, Green added, “He can keep rocking with that same horse that he rode in on. He can ride his a** right out of here on that same horse. It’s not working.” Green’s comments have earned him remarks from the Dubs’ head coach, Steve Kerr, who also believes in Draymond Green’s sense of responsibility since returning to the league.
Kerr added that if Green wouldn’t put his full potential and fire, the Warriors could choose not to play him. The Warriors forward prioritizes his availability for the team, which coach Kerr fully supports and appreciates.