In their initial encounter after Jusuf Nurkić was hit by Draymond Green, Phoenix Suns center was doubtful that the four-time All-Star had reformed following his 12-game ban.
Following the Suns’ 113-112 defeat to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night, Nurkić stated to press that his impression of Green was he had not gained any insights during his hiatus and did not warrant the opportunity for redemption.
Upon hearing Nurkić’s remarks, Green commented that he doesn’t “keep quiet like him” because “the quiet ones don’t succeed.”
According to Nurkić, Green’s actions during the game demonstrated he hadn’t absorbed any lessons from his suspension. Green rebutted this by stating: “I thought I performed well tonight … If you expect me to keep quiet like him, that’s not going to happen. The silent ones don’t succeed.”
There was a short verbal spat between Green and Nurkić in the first quarter of Saturday’s game, when Nurkić took offense at how Green was defending him. The situation escalated in the third quarter when Nurkić made the “too small” gesture at Green and slapped the court after scoring a basket over him. Green retorted a few moments later when he made a scoop shot over Nurkić and slapped the court.
During the third quarter of a game between the Warriors and Suns on Dec. 12, as Green and Nurkić were vying for position on an inbounds pass, Green swung his arm and hit Nurkić on the side of his head, causing him to fall to the ground.
The incident led to Green being indefinitely suspended by the NBA with certain conditions from the league and the Warriors to fulfilled before his reinstatement.
Green was allowed back on Jan. 6, with the league announcing that he had counseling sessions and collectively met with representatives from the NBA, NBPA, and Warriors. These joint consultations are predicted to persist throughout the season.
As the game on Saturday concluded, the Warriors had the last laugh against Nurkić and the Suns. With only 0.7 seconds left, Stephen Curry’s three-pointer gave Golden State a 113-112 victory. The Warriors have won four consecutive matches and six out of their previous seven.