Less than two minutes into the NBA in-season tournament on Tuesday night, the Warriors and Timberwolves got off to a furious start.
After a missed shot, Klay Thompson of Golden State and Jaden McDaniels of Minnesota pushed and tugged at each other’s jerseys as they were making their way down the court, which soon led to a brawl involving every player on the floor. When Draymond Green put his arm around Rudy Gobert’s neck in a chokehold, the altercation escalated from a friendly shove to a physical altercation.
McDaniels, Thompson, and Green were removed from the wrestling match by referees and other players. Officials said that Gobert was acting as a “peacemaker,” so they let him stay.
After a while, the tensions subsided and the T-wolves took the lead, winning 104–101.
Following that, Gobert, who has a long-standing beef with Green, had harsh words for the player.
“My team needed me tonight, so I wanted to keep my cool and not make the situation worse,” he continued. “I do hope the league is going to do what needs to be done, because that’s just clown behavior.”
Gobert continued by accusing Green of attempting on purpose to be removed from the game because Steph Curry was sidelined by a sprained knee.
“It’s kind of funny because before the game I was telling myself Steph is not playing, so I know Draymond is going to try to get ejected,” Gobert said. “Every time Steph doesn’t play, he doesn’t want to play without his guy Steph, so he’s doing anything to get ejected. It’s all good.”
The Warriors have what would be the final playoff spot, while the T-wolves are close to the top of the Western Conference standings in the NBA early in the 2023–24 season. These two teams’ playoff series could be highly entertaining.