Did the Warriors’ Draymond Green just take a shot at Jusuf Nurkic on Inside the NBA?

Tony Nguyen | Golden State Warriors
May 14, 2024

Draymond Green has been known to be an antagonist of sorts throughout his NBA career, but one of the newer rivalries for the Golden State Warriors veteran is with Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic. While both players’ teams aren’t playing anymore at this point in the season, Green used his platform on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” to take a swipe at Nurkic.

When talking about the Suns, who were swept by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, Green said that the Suns lack a “big man,” an obvious dig at the 7’0″ Nurkic.

“The Suns have no big man… KD [Kevin Durant] is the Suns’ big man. They got no big man,” Green said, as reported by ClutchPoints’ Brett Siegel.

Despite both of their teams’ disappointments, Green’s feud with Nurkic has seemingly survived the season after a very public altercation between the two in December.

Draymond Green and Jusuf Nurkic rivalry

Golden State Warriors player Draymond Green and Phoenix Suns player Jusuf Nurkic

While Draymond Green has taken part in his fair share of on-court scuffles and brouhahas, including placing Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a chokehold during a game in November 2023, Green received one of the longest non-drug-related suspensions in NBA history for striking Jusuf Nurkic back in December.

In the third quarter of a road Warriors game against the Suns, Green, seemingly frustrated by Nurkic grabbing him, wildly swung his right arm around. When he did that, Green struck Nurkic in the head, sending the big Bosnian to the floor. Green, who was initially called for an offensive foul, was issued a Flagrant 2 and ejected from the game after a review.

Following the game, Green claimed that he did not mean to hit Nurkic, to whom he apologized.

“I thought he was pulling my hip, and I was swinging a way to sell the call, and [I] made contact with him,” Green said. “As you know, I’m not one to apologize for things I meant to do, but I do apologize to Jusuf [Nurkic] because I didn’t intend to hit him.

“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.”

Nurkic said after the game that Green “needs help” while referencing Green’s chokehold altercation with Gobert from about a month earlier.

“What’s going on with him? I don’t know. Personally, I feel like that brother needs help,” Nurkic said. “I’m glad he didn’t try to choke me. At the same time, it ain’t nothing to do with basketball.”

Since then, and after Green sat out 16 games as part of an initially indefinite suspension that officially ended after 12 games, the two players have continued to take shots at each other.

When the Warriors and Suns played again in February, the players taunted each other with ‘too small’ gestures and then used their post-game comments to continue the rivalry.

“It’s sad. He didn’t learn anything,” Nurkic said. “Just a matter of time. He’s going to hit somebody else again. Take back everything I said. He don’t deserve a chance.”

Green then said on his podcast that Nurkic, who he called a “300 pound softy that can’t finish games” talked trash and took cheap shots at him during the game.

“I don’t know, I thought it was really whack to go questioning my character because I destroyed you on the basketball court,” Green said. “But, quite frankly I’m a four-time All-Star, four-time champion, I should be destroying you on the basketball court.”