A regular in-season NBA game between the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves took an unexpected turn Tuesday night when a scuffle led to the ejection of key players, including Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Jaden McDaniels.
This altercation left the Warriors, already without Stephen Curry due to injury, significantly handicapped in a tight game that ended in a 104-101 loss.
Early Ejections and On-Court Drama
The game spiraled into chaos just 100 seconds in, with McDaniels and Thompson getting tangled up during a transition play.
The situation escalated as Thompson held McDaniels' jersey, and McDaniels retaliated, leading to a physical exchange that culminated in Thompson swinging at McDaniels. "I was just trying to crash for a rebound and (Thompson) kind of grabbed my collar.
I was just trying to defend myself and get him off me," McDaniels explained after the game. Amidst the chaos, Draymond Green put Minnesota center Rudy Gobert in a headlock, further intensifying the situation. The intervention of coaches and players was necessary to separate the involved parties.
After a review, McDaniels and Thompson each received two technical fouls, and Green was given a flagrant foul 2, leading to their ejections.
Reactions and Analysis of the Incident
Gobert, reflecting on the incident, stated he was attempting to "de-escalate the situation" and emphasized his non-confrontational response to Green's aggression.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr expressed his dissatisfaction with the referees' decision, particularly regarding Thompson's ejection. "There is no way Klay should have been ejected. That was ridiculous," Kerr stated, also defending Green's actions by suggesting that Gobert had initiated contact with Thompson.
Crew chief Tyler Ford, in a statement to a pool reporter, described Green's actions towards Gobert as "unnecessary and excessive," meeting the criteria for a flagrant foul penalty 2. He also noted that Gobert's involvement was seen as an effort to calm the situation, classifying him as a peacemaker.
Historic Ejections and Game Outcome
This incident marked the first game in the past 25 seasons where multiple players were ejected before either team scored. The ejections significantly impacted the Warriors, who were already at a disadvantage without Curry.
The game concluded with a narrow victory for the Timberwolves, but the on-court scuffle and its aftermath overshadowed the final score, sparking discussions about sportsmanship and on-court conduct in the NBA.