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NY Post
New York Post
18 Nov 2023

NextImg:Shaq defends Draymond Green’s headlock on Rudy Gobert: ‘Would have choked him out too’

Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t blame Draymond Green for putting Rudy Gobert in a headlock during a heated on-court incident early in the Warriors-Timberwolves game on Tuesday night.  

In fact, he likely would have done the same thing. 

Early in the first quarter, Green’s Warriors teammate Klay Thompson got into it with Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels.

As the incident escalated between the two teams, Green came rushing in and locked up Gobert around his neck. 

He has since been suspended five games by the NBA, but the four-time NBA champion O’Neal didn’t seem to mind Green swooping in to aid his teammates. 

“I don’t like to be a hypocrite of the situation, I would have did the same thing,” O’Neal told TMZ. “You got to stick up for your teammates.” 

O’Neal, who is also an analyst for TNT, went on to tell the person interviewing him that “if me and you are having an interview and somebody comes here, I’m going to have to whoop their ass” because “you’re my homegirl.”


He shied away from saying if the NBA’s suspension was excessive but wasn’t going to bash Green for his actions. 

“I don’t want to say, aw he shouldn’t have did it,” O’Neal said. “I’d have did the same thing. If Rudy was there, I would have choked him out, too. When you do those things, the NBA is gonna do what they do. I don’t want to say too harsh. Was it warranted? I don’t know, but I’m not gonna criticize Draymond Green for something I would have did.”  

Gobert called Green’s actions “clown behavior” after the game and Warriors coach Steve Kerr thought his star “took it too far.”

“Draymond was wrong,” Kerr told reporters. “He knows that. It’s a bad look, and the five games are deserved.”

The NBA in a statement said the length of the suspension was based in part on “Green’s history of unsportsmanlike acts.”

Shaquille O'Neal

Green, who drew 16 technical fouls last season, has been suspended by the NBA three times prior and once by the Warriors.

The most recent was a one-game ban in the NBA playoffs last season for stepping on the chest of Kings’ star Domantas Sabonis.