The title “Demand Green” is a certified hot topic. Everyone knows that.
He presents his various antics as a formidable competitor in the realm of almost romantic values, but it’s a showdown. It seems like he’s a guy passionate about telling the basketball world at every possible opportunity how tough he is.
He did it again on Tuesday night, creating a brawl where there was no business, as he completely stopped Rudy Gobert in his tracks, pulling him away from the scene like he prefers to think.
It all started when a heated altercation unfolded between Karl-Anthony Towns and Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels. Each had a grip on the other, and no one was letting go because they were making their way under the court. Things escalated. McDaniels spun Towns so forcefully that his jersey neckline tore.
Gobert entered the field but couldn’t do much. Warriors play-by-play broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald was trying hard to suggest that Gobert had Thompson in a headlock, but Green’s typically humorous reaction served as a poignant way to brush off that suggestion.
Steve Kerr tried to convey the same message after the game – a 104-101 loss for the Warriors, their fifth in six games.
Kerr said, “Rudy had Klay by the throat, and that’s why Draymond went over to get Rudy off.” Please note, Gobert was merely keeping tabs on Thompson and McDaniels, who were mostly heated compared to most NBA “battles.”
For a brief moment (and nature of their position), Gobert having his arm around Thompson’s neck is nowhere near a chokehold. Officials agreed. In the pool report, they called Gobert a “peacemaker.”
In the meantime, do you want to see how a chokehold really looks? Here’s a performance: The video below shows that Green didn’t initiate any action (a notable improvement from his usual antics), but he swooped in to make sure he ended it.
It’s been observed up close that, to clarify Fitzgerald’s baseless claim that Gobert had Thompson in a headlock, look at Gobert before Sheriff Green arrived at the scene. If you call that a headlock, I have other things to sell you.
So, what’s unfolding in this situation? “Demand,” first and foremost, sees an opportunity to once again showcase his superhero chest, whether it’s LeBron in the 2016 Finals or Rudy Gobert in November, against him or any teammate.
(Of course, unless he’s Jordan Poole’s teammate in which case there wouldn’t be a need for anyone else to play with him as Green would have likely ejected him already. But that’s another story.)
In my opinion, what Green is doing here, aside from his primary job, is especially taking advantage of the opportunity to get under Gobert’s skin because there have been quite a few incidents between these two in the past.
Indeed, after Green applied the NBA world’s spin on Poole’s pool shot, Gobert tweeted, “Insecurity is always loud.”
Six months later, it was Gobert who attacked his teammate Kyle Anderson, prompting Green to immediately tweet: “Insecurity is always loud.” After that, on his own podcast, Green referred to Gobert as a “BCH,” but instead gave him the label of “a little soft on the soft side” without explicitly saying the words.
So yes, Green has a history with Gobert, and on Tuesday night, he saw an opportunity to act on that personal dislike.
He refrained from holding anything back. While Gobert, rightly so, was allowed to stay in the game, Green was ejected along with Thompson and McDaniels.
This shouldn’t mark the conclusion of the matter. Green should be suspended, absolutely. How many games? I’m not privy to that information; it’s beyond my purview.
However, if the NBA is issuing penalties for a simulated technical issue to athletes such as Anthony Edwards and Giannis Antetokounmpo following a hazardous dunk, then it’s in their best interest to act justly in this particular instance.
And keep Green away from the court for more than just Tuesday night.
I usually enjoy the “let these guys play with some emotions” conference, but this is beyond that. Green believes he’s becoming a focal point for officials due to his standing, and to a certain degree, there might be validity in that perception. If that’s the case, he has brought it upon himself.
But if you look at the Warriors sufficiently and with enough objectivity, you know that Green gets a longer leash compared to other players. He’s been following a consistent line, and this time, he went too far.
He aimed to convey a message; now it’s imperative for the league to respond accordingly. Green should be suspended, and I doubt he’ll argue against it.