The defending champion Golden State Warriors were once again involved in drama as they returned home from Japan for the start of the domestic preseason schedule.
Of course, it centered around enigmatic forward Draymond Green. Reports surfaced on Wednesday evening that Green got into a fight with star young guard Jordan Poole during practice in Northern California.
One report indicated that Green struck Poole and needed to be seperated by those closest to the confrontation. The situation escalated into a physical altercation between the two core members of the defending champs. At that point, indications were that Green was facing some sort of punishment from the Warriors’ organization.
One day after the incident, head coach Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers met with the media to discuss what transpired.
Myers notes that Green met with the Warriors and apologized to players ahead of practice on Wednesday before leaving the facility. The general manager will leave it up to Kerr regarding a timeline for Green’s return to practice. Any punishment, Myers said, would be dealt with internally. He also said that he doesn’t believe Green will miss any games, a clear indication that any discipline would be financially-driven.
As for the dynamics behind the scenes with the Golden State Warriors following the latest Green-centric spat, Myers attempted to put on a positive spin.
“I have confidence that it won’t erode the fabric of our team,” Myers said about the altercation between Green and Poole.
How fight impacts Draymond Green and Jordan Poole contract extension talks with the Golden State Warriors
This is a major backdrop to the entire drama. Green is pretty much entering the final year of his contract. He can opt out this coming summer, and fully plans to do just that. As for the 23-year-old Poole, he’s slated to become a restricted free agent next summer and could land a rookie-level max deal, much like what we saw Tyler Herro get from the Miami Heat recently. There’s an Oct. 17 deadline to get this done.
“It doesn’t change an approach. It doesn’t change our feelings on it,” Myers on how fight impact extension talks. What we do know is that Poole’s impending $121 million extension reportedly played a role in what transpired on Wednesday.
“Draymond Green was apologetic in aftermath of the altercation with Jordan Poole, but there was a buildup stemming from teammates noticing a change in Poole’s behavior throughout camp with the guard on the verge of securing a lucrative extension.”Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports on Golden State Warriors drama
That could very well be Green’s representatives over at Klutch Sports leaking a certain spin to the media as a way to make their client look good. This wouldn’t necessarily be an exception to the rule.
For the most part, it seems that Golden State’s brass is blaming Green for the altercation. “I think he’ll find a way to earn the respect of his teammates and Jordan back but that’s the work he has to do,” Myers said about the star forward.
None of this is new to the four-time NBA champion.
In last season’s NBA Playoffs, Green was ejected during a conference semifinals game against the Memphis Grizzlies. During the 2016 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the star forward was suspended for a game after receiving a Flagrant 1 foul following an altercation with LeBron James. Indirectly, this led to Golden State blowing a 3-1 series lead that summer.
Green has been disciplined by the Warriors for internal issues, too. Back in 2018, Green was suspended by the Warriors after a heated altercation with then-teammate Kevin Durant.
Despite all of this, Myers doesn’t believe that Wednesday’s incident will have wide-ranging ramifications due to the veteran experience within the locker room.
“There’s a lot of real relationships in this room that can withstand adversity,” Myers told the media.
Time shall tell on that front. For now, having drama engulf your team even before a regular-season game has been played can’t be seen as a good thing.
The Golden State Warriors will begin their regular season Oct. 18 against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers at home. It does seem that both Draymond Green and Jordan Poole will be on the court for that game.