By Jon Krawczynski, Anthony Slater and Marcus Thompson II
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, forward Draymond Green and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels were ejected after an altercation broke out in the first quarter of Tuesday’s game.
Just 1:43 into the matchup, Thompson and McDaniels got into a scuffle at midcourt that saw both players grabbing each other’s jersey. Moments later Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert — who appeared to attempt to break up the altercation — was grabbed around the neck by Green before players and coaches stepped in to break it up.
Thompson, Green and McDaniels were sent off.
The Timberwolves won 104-101 over the Warriors. Minnesota improved to 8-2 while Golden State fell to 6-6.
Rudy Gobert calls out Draymond Green’s ‘clown behavior’ as he gets the better of latest spat
What exactly happened between Thompson and McDaniels?
Thompson was boxing out McDaniels in the right corner on one of the night’s first possessions. As part of it, Thompson appeared to grab McDaniels’ jersey. McDaniels took exception. He grabbed Thompson’s jersey and began to yank it, which sparked a strange and extended tug of war between the two that devolved into a much larger dust up. Thompson’s jersey was ripped. After the review, both were ejected.
— Anthony Slater, Warriors beat writer
The Warriors and T-Wolves got into a scuffle in the first 1:43 of play.
Draymond Green put Rudy Gobert in a headlock.
— The Athletic
November 15, 2023
What exactly happened between Green and Gobert?
As the confrontation between McDaniels and Thompson spilled onto the Warriors side of the court, Gobert came in and grabbed Thompson from behind. That brought Green into the fracas, and he put Gobert in a chokehold to pull him off of Thompson. Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards grabbed Green and Gobert, and tempers continued to flare. McDaniels was particularly heated, needing to be restrained by teammates as he hollered at Thompson.
— Jon Krawczynski, Timberwolves beat writer
Is there a longer-term concern for Warriors?
Potentially. I’d doubt Thompson and McDaniels get any extra discipline, but everyone knows the history between Green and the NBA. They even admitted after the first round stomp of Domantas Sabonis that they suspended Green a game partially because of his past. That’ll presumably play into the equation again as they review this incident in the coming days. If they deem Green’s headlock of Gobert excessive, he could be facing another suspension on the heels of two separate ejections this week.
Warriors’ observations: What went down in loss to the Timberwolves
What losing McDaniels means for Timberwolves
McDaniels is the Wolves’ best perimeter defender. His importance for this game was reduced slightly with Steph Curry sitting out, but the Wolves still will miss the pressure he can put on Chris Paul and Andrew Wiggins. From a team perspective, the fight definitely seemed to rattle the Wolves early in the game. They struggled at first to calm the game down, missing shots, turning the ball over and looking disorganized on defense, which played into the short-handed Warriors’ hands in the early going.
How the Warriors replace Green
Green’s famous last altercation was with his own teammate. It cost him some credibility in the locker room. How will this impact his place in the locker room since he came to the defense of Thompson? Will it be seen as a good thing? The Warriors’ early season start has been characterized by the good vibes, which were contrary to last year. Green said the chemistry last year was awful.
Will this be a galvanizing force for the Warriors? Or the latest incident where Green going overboard costs the Warriors?
This figures to create a big opportunity for Jonathan Kuminga. With Green out, that’s 30 minutes of action available on the Warriors’ front court. The Warriors desperately need one of their young players to take a leap, especially as length and athleticism have been known to cause the Warriors problems.
Another potential opportunity arises for Trayce Jackson-Davis, the rookie big the Warriors love. Green is essentially the Warriors’ back-up center.
— Marcus Thompson II, senior columnist
(Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)