OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors pulled off an incredible 18-point comeback to beat the Washington Wizards, 120-117, but the victory was overshadowed by the scrum between Bradley Beal and Draymond Green that captivated the NBA world on Friday night.
With 20 seconds left in the second quarter, Beal reached out and grabbed Green by the neck and face and, as the two became entangled, they tumbled to the floor behind the basket. Players from both sides rushed to the scene.
Beal and Green were both ejected from the game, but Kelly Oubre, who appeared to run in and take some swings, was left in the game and not assessed a technical foul. Oubre appeared to strike his teammate, John Wall, in the head, and also appeared to strike Warriors guard Klay Thompson.
Thompson told ESPN that Oubre apologized to him afterward.
After the game, players and coaches from both sides gave their thoughts on the incident.
“I don’t know what you’re supposed to do if someone hits you twice,” Green told ESPN. “Man, you’re taught as a kid not to allow that. What was I supposed to do?
“There’s a history with me and the NBA. That’s the only reason I can think of why I was ejected.”
“It was a scuffle. I’m not gonna go into details about it. I’ll do that with the league tomorrow. We just got into it and things got out of hand and we both got ejected. I told my teammates that I can’t put myself in a situation like that to leave them out there to battle out against a tough team without me out there. Granted, we still could have won the game, I felt like. But I can’t put my guys in that type of situation.
“As soon as it happened, at halftime I apologized. And I apologized again after the game, man, because that’s unacceptable by me, for sure. I gotta show better leadership and better control as well.
“I think it’s always part of hoops. But there are some times when things do get — there’s a line that you cross, and, you know, sometimes people cross it. At the end of the day it was a little chippy, but, you know, that’s basketball. I still shouldn’t have put myself in that type of situation.”
“It was an aggressive game, man, and a lot of stuff happened. Both teams came away pretty much unscathed, everybody’s healthy, so that’s all that matters. Nobody really wants to go out there and fight. That’s not what we’re here to do. We’re here to play basketball at the end of the day.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr
“I didn’t see anything. It looked like Draymond and Beal got wrapped up trying to go for a rebound. I looked up afterwards and saw a replay, but it was tough to tell what happened, so I don’t really know.
“I’m not sure why [Green] got kicked out. I’m not sure if it’s because it was his second technical or if he would have been kicked out anyway, because he was in an altercation. I wasn’t thrilled with his first technical. I didn’t think he deserved it. He deserved a delay of game. I was standing right next to Draymond and the official, and he didn’t swear, he say anything insulting. He was pleading his case and I don’t think he deserved a T. I was upset that the second T led to the ejection because I didn’t think he deserved the first T. But I don’t know if he was ejected for two Ts or because it’s an automatic ejection because they assumed he was fighting. There was such a scrum going on down there, I didn’t know what was happening.”
Wizards coach Scott Brooks
“I’m not getting involved in that. I coach the team, our players play, and that’s all we focus on. I’m not worried about all that other stuff. That’s not my job to worry about. My job is to coach the team. I’ll tell you what — we bounced back from not a good game for us. We came out with great energy against one of the best teams in the toughest building in basketball.”
“I didn’t know. I just saw the ball go in the basket and I’m running back and I look and I see scuffing going on. I just tried to run down there to protect my teammate.
“The refs didn’t really do too much early on, and they kept letting it go on. When you let it go on, it kind of gets to a point to where just like that, and then afterwards that’s when they start to be more assertive and calling stuff a little tighter.
“Whenever you’re a star player like [Beal], you always feel down when you have a lead like that and you feel like you’re absent from the game, but at the same time he has to protect himself as a grown man. You never want somebody to get in a fight or get injured or get ejected, but I’ve been in that position where I got ejected and we had a chance to win before, and I apologized to the team because it means more to the team than what happens. But sometimes emotions get the best of you.
“My opinion really ain’t to stop it, to be honest. I just try to stay away from it.”
“It’s two competitors going at it, man. But you know, that’s a big thing in our league now is trying to avoid stuff like that, but it happens in a game. Brad and Draymond both really wanna win, and it’s more than just going out there and playing — they’re physical. They talk trash. It happens.
“It’s unfortunate that Draymond got tossed out for getting punched, but, you know, that’s just how it is. But we wish both of those guys would have stayed in the game. It would have been a better game.”