Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic believes Draymond Green learned nothing from his recent ban, saying the Golden State Warriors forward didn’t deserve a second chance after the pair renewed their feud on Saturday.
Green was ejected for the third time this season when he struck Nurkic in the head during the Suns’ 119-116 win over the Warriors on December 12.
He was subsequently issued with an “indefinite” suspension and missed 12 games, having to undergo counselling as part of the criteria for his return to action.
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Green and Nurkic met for the first time since that incident on Saturday, and there were more fireworks between the duo during a dramatic 113-112 victory for the Warriors at Chaser Center.
Nurkic taunted Green after converting a hook shot over him in the third quarter, with Green returning the favour when he got to the basket just two minutes later.
The Suns center said Green “needed help” after the incident which got him banned two months ago, but he now believes he will never change his ways.
“It’s sad. He didn’t learn anything,” Nurkic said. “It’s just a matter of time. He’s going to hit somebody else again. I take back everything I said. He doesn’t deserve a chance.”
Those comments amused Green, who said in the post-game press conference: “I thought I was great tonight.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 11, 2024
“He tried to get in my head, and it didn’t work. If he wants me to walk around quiet, like him, I’m never going to do that. Quiet guys don’t win.”
Stephen Curry, who sank a 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left to seal Golden State’s victory, thought his team-mate stayed on the right side of the line, saying: “He’s given us a lift every game since he’s been back.
“What he did offensively tonight, especially in the fourth quarter… he gave us great energy in the sense of having that competitive spirit you need to win a game like tonight, to meet the moment.
“Draymond knows how to walk the line that he needs to walk. This is probably the best game that you’ve seen it.”