Draymond Green and Jusuf Nurkic wasted no time in reigniting their beef as the two players faced for the first time since Green’s December suspension for striking Nurkic in the head. In the first quarter of the Warriors’ win over Phoenix, Nurkic slapped the floor and hit Green with the “too small” taunt after putting in a shot over the veteran forward. Two minutes later, Green scored on Nurkic and smacked the court just as the Suns center had. “You can’t be a nothing defender if you’re going to do that. You probably outweigh me by 70 pounds and you get put in the rim? Got to be more careful,” Green later said of Nurkic.
Despite his own role in the on-court beef, Nurkic argued that it was a “matter of time” before Green was suspended again. “It’s sad. He didn’t learn anything. Just a matter of time. He’s going to hit somebody else again. Take back everything I said. He don’t deserve a chance,” Nurkic said. However, Green chose not to elevate things when informed of his rival’s comments. “I thought I was great tonight. He tried to get in my head, and it didn’t work. If he wants me to walk around quiet, like him, I’m never going to do that. Quiet guys don’t win. He can keep rocking with that same horse that he rode in on. He can ride his a– right out of here on that same horse. It’s not working,” Green quipped.
Draymond Green Missing From Initial Team USA Olympic Pool
However, Green is still feeling some of the consequences of his rocky, suspension-filled start to the season. Last month, Green was the most notable name missing from the initial 41-player pool for the Team USA Men’s Basketball Olympic Roster. The exclusion of Green, who won gold in 2016 and 2020, was surprising given that his club head coach, Steve Kerr, is also the national team coach. However, USA Basketball executive director Grant Hill explained that it was Green’s on-court antics keeping him out of contention at the moment. “His contributions have been significant, and he is a real part of the legacy of this organization for his excellence. But I think just in lieu of sort of what’s transpired this year, we made a decision to not have [Green] on this list with this particular point in time with the process,” Hill said in a media Zoom call.
Green will be able to play his way into the roster over the next few months. The team isn’t expected to be picked until May at the earliest. Meanwhile, the rest of the list is a veritable list of bona fide NBA talent. LeBron, Steph Curry, Jayson Tatum, and Joel Embiid all appear on the list. However, there is also a cache of younger stars like Walker Kessler, Chet Holgrem, and Tyrese Haliburton.