Last Wednesday, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green reportedly had a physical altercation with teammate Jordan Poole during practice. Green apologized to the team on Thursday, and the Warriors would agree on punishment for Green internally.
TMZ then leaked a video of the incident on Friday morning. It shows a verbal argument between Green and Poole. It led to Poole shoving Green and then Green throwing a punch at Poole that connected strongly.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers said this after the initial report of the incident, via ESPN:
“It’s unfortunate, I’m not going to deny it,” Myers said. “It’ll take some time to move through, but we’ll move through it and move forward. And I’m confident that we will. … This isn’t our first thing that’s happened, first sense of adversity. We’ve been through some of this before. Don’t like going through it but it’s part of the NBA and it’s part of sports.”
They have been through this exact scenario before with Draymond Green. His incident with Kevin Durant during a game in 2018 that many feel contributed to Durant’s eventual departure from the Warriors.
Draymond Green announced in a news conference on Saturday that he will be taking a leave of absence from the team.
“I’m going to continue to stay away, as I’ve been away, and continue to do work on myself, but also just give guys space. I do want to give my team some space, I want to give Jordan some space, and then also take a few days and continue to work on myself … take some time to let everything breathe.”
The way Jordan Poole feels about the situation will dictate the density of its impact on the Warriors going forward. Green said he wants to honor his feelings by stepping away.
“I watched the video 15 times, maybe more, because when I watched the video, I’m like, yo, this looks awful. This looks even worse than I thought it was. It’s pathetic.
Jordan’s feelings are the most important, and to be honest I’m not sure how he feels. That’s not a bridge we have crossed yet, nor should it be a bridge we’ve crossed yet.”
Green didn’t hold back with his remorse about the incident with Poole.
“That day that took place I was in a very, very bad space mentally. As a leader of this team, I needed to have a better feel for myself and just know and understand where my wick’s end was and what could possibly push me the wrong way. Frankly, I didn’t handle that well and I failed as a leader. I failed as a man, and I failed as a leader.”
Dealing with this kind of internal issue presents the first sign of vulnerability for the Warriors who are in favorable position to repeat as NBA champions.