Draymond Green

Draymond apologizes to Nurkic for head strike that led to ejection

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After Draymond Green was ejected from the Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns game on Tuesday night at Footprint Center, the veteran forward shared his side of the incident.

"I thought he was pulling my hip and I was swinging a way to sell the call, and [I] made contact with him," Green told reporters after Golden State's 119-116 loss. "As you know I'm not one to apologize for things I meant to do, but I do apologize to Jusuf [Nurkić] because I didn't intend to hit him.

"I sell calls with my arms. I don't fall to sell a call; I'm not a flopper. So I was just selling the call because he was grabbing me and pulling my hip back. So I spun away and unfortunately, I hit him."

Green was tossed in the third quarter of Tuesday's contest after officials assessed him with a Flagrant 2 foul for swinging at Nurkić and striking him across the face during an inbounds play.

Green was sent to the Warriors' locker room where he had to watch his team fall to Phoenix for the third time this season.

Also for the third time this season -- Green was ejected from a game.

The early exit gave Green plenty of time to view replays of the incident, but no matter how many times he watched, he reassured it wasn't his intent to harm Nurkić.

"If I go look at every replay of everything, a replay is never going to look good," Green said. "But I know my intentions and my intentions were to sell the call. I also don't think I'm an accurate enough puncher to do a full 360 and connect with someone. So it's unfortunate."

Of Golden State's 23 games this season, Green has played in 15 of them, been ejected from three, suspended from five and missed two because of injury and one for personal reasons.

Most recently, Green was ejected from the Warriors' loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 14 for putting Rudy Gobert in a chokehold after Klay Thompson and Jaden McDaniels got into a heated scuffle.

On top of that ejection, the NBA suspended Green for five games for his part in the altercation. After Tuesday's incident with Nurkić, Green weighed in on whether he anticipates another suspension.

"I don't know," he said. "We'll see. Like I said, I know what my intentions were. And all that's really all I can speak on."

As one of the most important leaders of the team, Green was remorseful for his actions and acknowledged he had to do a better job of being there for his teammates.

This time was different to Green, though, as he made it perfectly clear that his intentions weren't to hit the Suns big man.

"Yeah, I'm aware. And like I said, if I intended to do that, then I'd feel awful about not being there [for my team]," Green said. "But my intentions were just to sell the foul and he was, as you can see, moving forward. So as I'm moving back, he's still coming forward. I apologized to Nurkić because I hit him.

"I think you guys have known me long enough, if I intended to do something, I'm not apologizing for it."

The NBA likely will announce if any further discipline will be enforced on Green at some point later this week.

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