Fans of the Golden State Warriors held their collective breath as forward Draymond Green clutched his right elbow and grimaced in pain following a collision during Team USA’s final exhibition match with Spain.
Playing as a member of the United States Men’s Olympic Basketball Team in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 18, Green received a pass in the lane from Keldon Johnson late in the third quarter. The Warriors forward leaped into Spain center Marc Gasol, drawing a foul but paying a price in the process.
Green’s Injury was Clearly Painful, but Doesn’t Appear Serious
Video of the in-game collision circulating on Twitter shows Green standing at the free-throw line while grabbing his shooting arm, simultaneously wincing in obvious pain. After missing his first free throw, Green walks off toward half court where he can again be seen clutching at his elbow and trying to shake off the stinger.
Green exited the contest shortly thereafter. However, Green reportedly did not require medical treatment from the training staff, as he remained on the sideline cheering his teammates on before re-entering the game midway through the fourth period.
Green played just over 25 minutes total Sunday, scoring six points and notching four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Any Green Injury Would be Nightmare Scenario for Warriors Fans
An injury to Green is the absolute last thing that the Golden State organization, team roster and fan base want to see as the Warriors forward represents his country at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
After five straight trips to the NBA Finals, including three championship rings, Golden State has been consistently bitten by the injury bug.
It started with Klay Thompson dropping in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors with a torn ACL. After missing an entire season, and just weeks before his expected return to an active role, the All-Star shooting guard then tore his Achilles tendon in November 2020.
Now two years removed from his last official game for the Warriors, Thompson remains unlikely to begin next season on the court with his teammates.
Just days after the Warriors’ most recent campaign ended, President of Basketball Operations Bob Myers told the media not to expect Thompson back when the 2021-22 season tips off on Oct. 19.
“I don’t know if that will be realistic or not,” Myers said.
However, Thompson has reportedly hit a major milestone on his road to recovery. Steve Kerr, head coach of the Warriors, appeared on the Damon, Ratto and Kolsky show on 95.7 The Game Thursday, July 15 to talk about Thompson’s status, saying there is “finally light at the end of the tunnel.”
“Good news is (that he’s) really been diligent with his work. He and Rick Celebrini have worked closely all summer, he’s right on schedule,” Kerr said of Thompson. “He’s been on the floor running now for the last few weeks. I think the light is finally at the end of the tunnel.”
“But you know, as we get close to the season, and he gets closer and closer, we’re obviously going to be very, very careful and we’ll lean on the advice of our training staff to let us know when he’s ready to play,” Kerr continued.
Steph Curry also missed most of the 2019-20 season with a broken hand, and reportedly played with a broken tailbone down the Warriors’ stretch run this year.
Any serious injury to Green would be a devastating blow to everyone in the Warriors orbit, as the team has stated loudly and publicly it has designs on making at least one more NBA Finals run, if not several, starting with the 2021-22 season.