Getty Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors stands on the court with a torn jersey after getting into an altercation with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Golden State Warriors were left in turmoil when Klay Thomson was sent off, while Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert escaped unscathed after their role in the altercation.
Crew chief Tyler Ford stated in the game’s pool report that Thompson’s action merited an ejection, while Gobert did not because he acted as a sedative.
“Both [Thompson and Jaden McDaniels] were involved in an altercation that did not immediately resolve and their actions warranted ejection,” Ford said in the official NBA pool report.
“Gobert tried to separate Thompson and McDaniels and was seen as a peacemaker. “We reviewed all other players and actions and no other unsportsmanlike conduct was observed,” Ford added.
As for Green, it was a different story.
“He aggressively puts Gobert in a headlock and refuses to let go. “This is unnecessary and excessive behavior that meets the standard for a flagrant foul penalty 2,” Ford said.
The altercation occurred with 10:17 left in the first quarter. Thompson and Timberwolves’ Jaden McDaniels caused a stir when they began pulling and shoving each other after a missed Timberwolves attempt.
Things quickly escalated after Gobert grabbed Thompson from behind. Green rushed to the scene, put Gobert in a chokehold and violently dragged him away.
Thompson’s jersey was torn during the altercation.
Thompson and McDaniel were assessed two technical fouls, while Green was assessed a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2.
Steve Kerr upset about Klay Thompson’s expulsion
Kerr cried foul over the committee’s decision to exclude Thompson.
“There’s no way Klay Thompson should have been ejected from the game,” Kerr told reporters after Tuesday night’s 104-101 loss to the Timberwolves.
“I mean, he runs up the floor and [Jaden McDaniels] grabs his jersey and he pulls on it and so Klay retreats. There’s no way Klay should have been kicked out. That was ridiculous! That’s why I was upset about it.”
Kevon Looney was shocked when Thompson was also ejected.
“I was shocked that it happened at the start of the game. I didn’t think Klay should have been kicked out. Someone tried to attack him and I was surprised Gobert didn’t get away with anything [called on him]Looney told reporters after the game.
Rudy Gobert defends himself
Gobert told The Athletic that he was trying to de-escalate the situation when he grabbed Thompson.
“I do a lot of work — meditation work and things like that,” Gobert told The Athletic. “So I thought, ‘This is a good opportunity for me to show that I can overcome my feelings and then be the bigger man.’ And my team needs me in the game. So I had to hold back my emotions and really focus on the game.”
The referees agreed based on their decision not to penalize him with a technical foul and their explanation in the pool report.
But the Warriors didn’t see it that way.
“If you watch the replay, Rudy had his hands on Klay’s neck and that’s why Draymond went after Rudy, and so I saw a replay right after the incident,” Kerr said. “The people at the back of the bench told us that Rudy had Klay and that’s why Draymond was after Rudy, so that’s all I know. “But it was a bizarre way to start the game after a minute and a half.”
Erle Almo is a basketball journalist who covers the New York Knicks and Golden State Warirors for Heavy. He has more than 15 years of experience in local and international media, including broadcast, print and digital. He previously covered the Knicks for Empire Sports Media and the NBA for Off the Glass. Alder is from the Philippines and now lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. More about Alder Almo
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