Draymond Green is serving a five-game suspension after putting Rudy Gobert in a chokehold during the Golden State Warriors‘ loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday (Nov. 14). Klay Thompson and Jaden McDaniels were also ejected from the game for their roles in the altercation.
Since the incident, NBA fans and media have been split on whether Green overreacted. Former Los Angeles Lakers champion Shaquille O’Neal recently shared his opinion on the situation during an interview with TMZ, noting how he would have had a similar reaction in the same situation. O’Neal was seen as an enforcer during his tenure in the league.
“I don’t want to say, ‘Aw, he shouldn’t have did it,’” O’Neal said. “I’d have did the same thing. If Rudy was there, I would have choked him out, too. When you do those things, the NBA is gonna do what they do. I don’t want to say (the suspension was) too harsh. Was it warranted? I don’t know, but I’m not gonna criticize Draymond Green for something I would have did.”
The Warriors are navigating a five-game losing streak. Green’s suspension couldn’t have come at a worse time. However, last season, the narrative surrounding Golden State’s difficult season was a lack of chemistry within the locker room. Green’s willingness to defend his teammates demonstrates that narrative is a thing of the past, which should be seen as an encouraging sign.
Golden State has another tough game ahead; it faces the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, Nov. 18. The Thunder have already defeated the Warriors once this season and look to make it 2-for-2 in their next meeting.