Warriors’ Draymond Green begins counseling, expected to miss at least 3 weeks: sources

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has begun counseling and is expected to remain sidelined by suspension for at least the next three weeks, league sources said.

Green was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday after he punched Phoenix Suns player Jusuf Nurkic in the face during a game one night earlier, the NBA announced. Joe Dumars, the NBA’s executive vice president and president of basketball operations, said in a statement that Green’s “repeated history of unsportsmanlike conduct” was a factor in the decision.

Green, 33, is expected to receive counseling and work with the Warriors and the NBA during the suspension, league sources said. People around Green and the organization said the four-time NBA champion was understanding and willing to undergo the process required to return to the team at full capacity. These sources did not reveal the details of the consultation that Green provided out of respect for his privacy.

The three-week time frame means his suspension spans about 12 games.

Green’s most recent incident — his 20th career ejection — came in the third quarter of Tuesday’s game between the Warriors and Suns. Green appeared to struggle for position against Nurkic near the corner, swung and pinned Nurkic in the face with a wild right arm. Nurkic fell and remained on the ground for about a minute.

Officials paused the game for review, which didn’t take long. Green was ejected and didn’t even contest it. He ran straight to the locker room.

After the game, Green apologized to Nurkic. He said it was unintentional and that he was trying to sell a mistake by waving his arms.

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“You know, I’m not one to apologize for things I meant to do, but I apologize to Joseph. ‘Cause I wasn’t going to hit him,” Green said. “I sell calls with my arm.”

Green’s suspension is the sixth in his NBA career and the second this season. The league also suspended Green for five games in November for his involvement in an altercation against the Minnesota Timberwolves, when Green put Rudy Gobert in trouble. He was suspended twice for one game last season — once for accumulating 16 technical fouls, and the second in the playoffs for a tackle on Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis.

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Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he believes suspending Green indefinitely makes sense to help the 12-year veteran make a change.

“For me, this is more than just basketball. It’s about helping Draymond,” Kerr said. “I think it’s an opportunity for Draymond to step aside and make a change in his approach and his life, and that’s not an easy thing to do. This isn’t something you say, okay, five games and then it’ll be fine.

The Warriors (12-14) have gone 2-1 since Green was fired. They went 2-3 during his previous five-game suspension.

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(Photo: Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

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