DALLAS – Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert has “empathy” for rival Draymond Green in the wake of the Golden State Warriors forward’s indefinite suspension.
The NBA statement announcing Green’s suspension for striking Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic in the face cited his “repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts.” Green’s previous suspension was a five-game ban for placing Gobert in a chokehold on Nov. 14 when Gobert grabbed Golden State guard Klay Thompson in an attempt to break up a fight with Minnesota forward Jayden McDaniels.
Gobert has been a frequent target of public verbal criticism from Green over the years, but he expressed concern about Green’s health on Thursday night.
“I sympathize with him,” Gobert told ESPN after an eight-point, 12-rebound performance during the Timberwolves’ 119-101 win over the Dallas Mavericks. “You see someone who’s not doing well and struggling. You’re taking away the game and all that, and you want someone to be good and be able to do what we do every night and compete and be happy.”
Gobert believes the harsh actions from the league office were necessary because Green was putting the safety of other players at risk. However, Gobert said he could not offer an opinion on whether Green’s indefinite suspension was fair due to the uncertainty over how long.
“I’m not sure what that really means, so it’s hard to know,” Gobert said. “I mean you don’t want someone to get hurt too badly. You have to fix it. That’s all.”
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