A regular in-season tournament game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Golden State Warriors quickly became heated on Tuesday night.
As the game started, Jaden McDaniels, starting forward for the Timberwolves, and Klay Thompson, 4x NBA Champion for the Warriors, were tied up with one another in transition.
McDaniels was waiting for the rebound when Thompson started tugging on his jersey. McDaniels then grabbed Thompson, both of them holding one another and refusing to let go as they went down the court.
Both players got more physical and started swinging at each other. McDaniels ripped Thompson’s jersey, and Thompson swung at McDaniels.
The fight escalated as players from both teams went in to defend their teammates. Draymond Green, a 4x All-Star on the Warriors, put 3x NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert in a headlock. Players removed Green from Gobert, while others separated Thompson from McDaniels.
McDaniels and Thompson received two technical fouls, while Draymond received a flagrant foul. All three players were ejected from the game, marking the first game in the last 25 seasons where several players were removed at the start of a match.
Timberwolves and Warriors players and coaches react to the on-court brawl and resulting ejections
When asked about the altercation, Timberwolves player Jaden McDaniels said that he “was just trying to crash for a rebound, and [Thompson] kind of grabbed my collar. I was just trying to defend myself and get him off me.”
“The rest is what it is,” he went on to say, “I knew before that there was some chitter-chatter going back and forth.”
“I didn’t take it seriously, I was just laughing.” McDaniels continued. “I guess it was a bigger deal to him.”
Gobert told reporters that he wanted to “de-escalate the situation”, as his initial thought was, “I’m not going to fight. I need to be in this game to help my team.” Gobert said that he “showed the ref that [he] had his hands up, and [he] waited until the situation was over. Nothing more than that. It wasn’t a good enough choke to put me to sleep.”
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr defended his star players, disagreeing with the referee’s ejection of Thompson.
Kerr stated, “There is no way Klay should have been ejected. That was ridiculous. I was upset about that. As far as the Draymond piece of it, Rudy had his hands on Klay’s neck. That’s why Draymond went after Rudy.”
With the ejection of Thompson and Green, this placed the Warriors at a further disadvantage as the game continued. In addition to two of their starters being out, they were also already missing their Finals MVP and three-point scoring leader, Stephen Curry, due to knee soreness.
The Warriors ended up losing the game to the Timberwolves, with a score of 101-104.
Source link : theblackwallsttimes.com