Though the Golden State Warriors are battling in their playoff series against the Sacramento Kings, there were questions all season about whether they’d be able to gel back together, after video leaked of Draymond Green punching Jordan Poole in the face at a preseason practice.
According to Green, it’s been a process to re-earn the respect of the young guard, as well as his Warriors teammates. He opened up about the experience with “The Athletic’s” Shams Charania, during a recent interview.
“I felt like I had to earn my voice. A voice isn’t given. For me, I wanted to do things to earn that back…I took a step back … three or four steps back, and just kind of let things play out,” Green explained, when asked about how he approached leadership moments with Poole.
“Let time heal all wounds. So let time heal the wounds while I’m working, putting my head down, going to work, putting my body on the line every single day, dive in and say something every now and then but don’t be too overbearing. But at that point in the season, it’s time to make a push. It’s time to make a run. And everyone accepts things better after wins than after losses. So it was an understanding that we were putting together some wins.”
He later detailed the importance of a moment he’d had with Poole on January 27, which was reportedly the first time he’d laid into the 23-year-old since the preseason incident.
“That moment happened leading into the All-Star break … I felt like it was important to have that moment,” he explained. “But I also felt it had to be at the right time. We hadn’t put many wins together all year in a row, and so you try to feel out the right time. We were on a home stand, trying to put wins together. I feel that was the time that you try to reinsert yourself.”
Warriors’ Draymond Green Discusses Decision to Come off Bench in Game 4
Green actually praised Poole after Golden State’s win over the Kings in Game 4, explaining that part of the reason he wanted to come off the bench was because of Poole’s strong play.
“When I watch basketball, I’m studying,” Green explained via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “And I studied that game. And I saw what was working, and we won. So, I’m a firm believer in, if something isn’t broke, you don’t fix it. And our offense was rolling, and we played good defensively. Really good defensively. So, I didn’t want to come back and just shake things up because I’m back. That’s not right. Jordan went out there. He played well. We played well. He earned it. And our team earned that.”
Both Draymond Green & Jordan Poole Shine in Warriors Win Over Kings
Both Green and Poole impacted winning in Sunday’s matchup with Sacramento. Of course, all eyes were on Green after he served his suspension in Game 3, and how he’d fare in his return.
The 33-year-old scored 12 points off the bench for the Dubs in 31 minutes. Plus, he was excellent on the defensive side of the ball, making a few key stops down the stretch.
As for Poole, he helped the Warriors get off to a hot start in Game 4. He scored 8 of his 22 points in the opening quarter, knocking down a pair of threes to give the Dubs a boost.