Minnesota Timberwolves big man Rudy Gobert was at the center of the skirmish during Tuesday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors that saw three players receive ejections.
The incident occurred early in the first quarter when Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels and Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson got into a shoving match. Gobert came over and appeared to grab onto Thompson’s head before Draymond Green put Gobert into a headlock for a few moments.
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Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson, front, and Draymond Green, back, get into an altercation with Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert, middle, in San Francisco, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
After the dust finally cleared, officials ejected Green, Thompson and McDaniels. Minnesota won the game 104-101. Gobert spoke on the brouhaha after the game.
“Not much to say,” Gobert said. “That’s just clown behavior.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he didn’t think Thompson should’ve been ejected and accused McDaniels of instigating the fight.
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Three players were ejected after a skirmish between the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves in San Francisco, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
“He’s running up the floor, and the guy grabs his jersey, and he’s pulling on him. So Klay pulls back,” Kerr told reporters. “No way that Klay should have been ejected. That was ridiculous.”
McDaniels said he was “just trying to defend myself.” He said Thompson grabbed his collar. He added there was some early aggression between the teams but didn’t think it would be taken to the level it did.
“There was some chitter-chatter going back and forth, but I wasn’t taking it serious,” McDaniels said. “I was laughing. And then I guess it was just a bigger deal to him.”
Gobert had his hands up when Green came over and put him in a headlock.
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“My first thought was just, ‘I’m not going to fight. I need to be in this game to help my team,'” the star center said. “I just showed the ref that I had my hands up, and I just waited until the situation was over. Nothing more than that. It wasn’t a good enough choke to put me to sleep.”
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels, left, and Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson get into an altercation Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, in San Franciso. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
Tyler Ford, the crew chief, explained that Gobert was a “peacemaker” and wasn’t ejected for his involvement.
“I thought the ejections were the right ones,” T’Wolves coach Chris Finch said. “I thought they were warranted. I thought (the refs) did a good job of getting control of the game from that point of view. The game was very physical, but it wasn’t a very dangerous and out-of-control game.”
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Discipline is sure to be handed down.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ryan Gaydos is a senior editor for Fox News Digital.