SAN FRANCISCO — As the news of Draymond Green‘s suspension for stepping on Domantas Sabonis spread throughout the Golden State Warriors organization, there was an overwhelming feeling of surprise.
But, there is also an understanding that there is no reason — or time — to dwell on the league’s decision.
“We’ve been here before,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said in a news conference on Wednesday. “Once these decisions are made, there’s no appellate court. It’s over. You can react however you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s not playing and we’ve got a game tomorrow night … it doesn’t matter what I think.”
Myers was notified of Green’s suspension Tuesday night shortly before the NBA formally announced its decision. Myers spoke with Green, Stephen Curry, owner Joe Lacob and coach Steve Kerr before the news broke.
Myers made it clear to Green: Take a day to digest the decision before responding, especially since Green’s initial reaction played a role in the league’s decision to suspend him.
Joe Dumars, the NBA executive vice president and head of basketball operations, told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Green’s “excessive and over-the-top actions” on the court following the incident with Sabonis and his tone after the game were instrumental in the suspension ruling.
“He’s the ultimate competitor … and everybody knows he’s going to occasionally tip over the edge and his emotions get the best of him. That’s part of it,” Kerr said Wednesday. “There’s no stopping it. You’re not going to be able to put your arm around him and say, OK, let’s move forward. It doesn’t work that way.”
Kerr continued by saying, “There’s no time to spend worrying about it or thinking about it or complaining about it.”
Green participated in practice Wednesday and addressed the team. The Warriors did not divulge what was discussed, but Myers said he wanted to make sure Green didn’t make it about him and instead made it about a team win in his absence.
“Winning is messy if you want to be honest about it. … There’s an edginess to it,” Myers said. “There is tension. Certainly, he’s crossed that line but he has been punished for it. … Draymond is not perfect. But I haven’t met anyone who is perfect … he’s been a big part of a lot of winning.
Myers continued: “His mistakes are out there for the world … each time he’s misstepped my hope is that he learns from it. He’s been punished. So for the people who ask, ‘Well, when is it going to stop?’ Those people may think this is positive, I suppose.”
This is the second time Green has been suspended during the playoffs. The other time occurred in the 2016 NBA Finals after he accumulated too many flagrant fouls, culminating in Green hitting LeBron James in the groin in Game 4. Earlier in those playoffs, Green was ejected for kicking Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams in the groin.
Both Kerr and Myers said they haven’t flashed back to Green’s suspension in 2016.
Green was also ejected in Game 1 of Golden State’s second-round series in 2022 against the Memphis Grizzlies after a hard foul on Brandon Clarke and flipping off the fans.
“It’s not anything we can control,” Kerr said. “Draymond is incredibly passionate and competitive and fiery and he’s helped us win more championships, I’ve said it many times — we don’t have a single championship without Draymond Green. That’s the truth. He crossed the line over the years, but that’s part of it. We will go to bat for Draymond.”
In 2018, the Warriors suspended Green for one game without pay for “conduct detrimental to the team” following an altercation with then-teammate Kevin Durant. Earlier this season, Green spent time away from the team after punching Warriors guard Jordan Poole during practice.
“The guy’s a force. He’s unique. He’s a leader,” Myers said. “He will tell you that he’s made mistakes. You cannot hide from them, they’re out there for everyone to see. He has a good heart, I know that. But that doesn’t mean he’s mistake-free.
“He made a mistake with a teammate — I hadn’t seen him do that to a teammate before. If you want to talk about what he’s done for the organization, that’s not up for dispute. Without him, we don’t have a championship, but he’s a complicated guy.”