A Wednesday training camp incident where Draymond Green punched up-and-coming guard Jordan Poole has the Warriors tight-lipped about some sort of “internal” discipline, but gossip site TMZ stirs the pot by publishing video of the punch.
Your Golden State Warriors begin their 2022-23 season as defending NBA champions, and the real games begin in 12 days with the regular season tip-off against the L.A. Lakers. And all of the pieces are in place from last season, so barring any trouble, the Dubs are title contenders once again.
Sources: There was a physical altercation at Warriors’ practice today that has the team considering disciplinary action toward Draymond Green.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 6, 2022
Story at @TheAthletic with @anthonyVslater, @ThompsonScribe: https://t.co/OYQ9WJFJtd
Suddenly there’s trouble. We have always known Draymond Green has a temper and is not hesitant to get physical. (And there was of course that 2016 incident involving LeBron James’s testicles.) On Wednesday, the Bay Area News Group reported that Green had punched a teammate in practice, and within a few hours, we learned that teammate was last year’s breakout star, youngster Jordan Poole. And by Thursday evening, TMZ had published video of the punching incident.
We will obviously lead with the punching video, which is seen above, and has a handy red arrow to identify Draymond since the video is shot from a distance and has no sound. But Green approaches Poole and gets in his face, jawing as he does, and applies a clearly aggressive and unfriendly chest bump. Poole pushes Green back with both arms, and Green then delivers a right-hand punch which lands squarely on Poole’s jaw, knocking him to the floor. Teammates and coaches converge to break the two of them up.
Practice was called off, and neither player has been made available to the media since. The Bay Area News Group reports that Green is “facing disciplinary actions,” but team general manager Bob Myers merely said it all be dealt with “internally.”
Steph Curry describes the whole thing quite vaguely, saying that “It was nothing out of the ordinary until it wasn’t,” according to the News Group. NBC Sports reports that Green was “apologetic,” and KRON4’s Jason Dumas reports Green “apologized to the team.” But… has Green apologized to Poole?
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, league sources tell @YahooSports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 6, 2022
The rumor mill is speculating that this was more than an isolated incident of Draymond being Draymond. Above we see Yahoo Sports spinning some unsubstantiated but credible gossip about “a change in Poole’s behavior throughout camp with the guard on the verge of securing a lucrative extension.”
The Bay Area News Group describes this more diplomatically. “Poole, Green and Andrew Wiggins are all due for contract extensions, though Poole’s appears to be the most pressing he and the team face an Oct. 17 deadline for a rookie contract extension,” they note. “Wiggins and Green have no such deadline.”
So there is a kernel of possibility that yes, there is some team strife. This drama is likely to sort itself out in the couple weeks before the regular season starts. But it will still dominate Warriors coverage, and the team will surely be asked about this more than they will be asked about this year’s title hopes.
Image: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 20: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates with the NBA Championship Trophy during the Golden State Warriors Victory Parade on June 20, 2022 in San Francisco, California. The Golden State Warriors beat the Boston Celtics 4-2 to win the 2022 NBA Finals. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)