The preseason altercation between Draymond Green and Jordan Poole and how it influenced their season—which ended in the Western Conference semifinals—has been a topic of much recent openness and honesty from the Warriors.
The event, according to Warriors coach Steve Kerr, “played a role” in the absence of team cohesiveness and culture. Green said that if he had never punched Poole seven months prior, Golden State would still be vying to defend its most recent championship. Poole added that their relationship is completely professional in nature.
After all of that, Green claimed that discussing the incident on “Stephen A.’s World” helped him “really, really” move on from it but noted that his friendship with Poole still has to be fixed.
“You put it behind you during the season and you try to build things and move on, but now it allows you to move on,” Green said on the latest episode of “The Draymond Green Show,” which was released Wednesday. “But there’s still work to be done. Jordan is still my teammate. I still have some repairing to do, and attempts to repair, ultimately, being up to him and what he’s open to.
“But it’s on me as a leader, it’s on me as a teammate to continue to try to make that right. His feelings are his feelings. I saw his comment where he said, ‘Look it’s basketball.’ I agree, it was business, it was basketball, and it’s always going to be that because, at the end of the day, we are teammates. As long as we are teammates, it has to be that. But it is my job to try to better that.”
The altercation from the Warriors’ practice in October was captured on camera, and TMZ posted it. In the video, Green approaches Poole and embraces the young guard chest to chest after what appears to be a brief verbal discussion between the two.
After pushing Green aside, the Warriors veteran strikes Poole in the face, knocking him to the ground.
Green took some time away from the team but returned just in time for the season, giving the impression that everything was fine going forward.
Not at all.
“And let’s face it, if the video never comes out, is it here? I don’t think so,” Green said. “I think that was a huge, huge thing. One that made it really hard for him to move on from. Will he ever be able to move on from it? I don’t know. But it is on me to try and make that happen.
“But I am happy to be putting that behind as far as this goes, and moving forward, and working to do the things that we need to do win a championship again next year. That is my focus, that is my goal, happy to be done with that.”
That is undoubtedly everything Poole and Green desire going ahead as rivals. Everything else will be his responsibility, as Green attested.