The season ended in failure for the Golden State Warriors. Just one year after winning the NBA Championship, a season full of road struggles, a rough bench unit, and chemistry issues ended in a second-round exit at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now, they’re in for an offseason of question marks and uncertainty. More specifically, there are going to be a lot of questions surrounding the futures of Draymond Green and Jordan Poole. That being said, head coach Steve Kerr said that Golden State won’t be a title contender next year without Green.
“Look, if Draymond is not back, we’re not a championship contender,” Kerr said. “We know that. He’s that important to winning and to who we are. I absolutely want him back. He’s a competitor. He’s an incredible defensive player.”
Ever since Green punched Poole during the Warriors’ preseason, there have been questions regarding whether or not he will be back with the team. Green even spoke about how this could potentially be his last year with the Warriors.
And while Kerr believes in Green’s importance to the team’s championship odds, he also admitted that he compromised Golden State’s chemistry.
“[Green] knows that he had a great season this year from a basketball perspective, but he knows that he also compromised things by what happened back in October. So part of him coming back next year has to be about rebuilding some of that trust and respect that he’s earned here for a long period of time,” Kerr said. “One thing I love about Draymond is he’s always brutally honest, and he can take that sort of critique because he knows it’s the truth.”
Warriors Star Jordan Poole Discusses Draymond Green Punch Incident
Meanwhile, when Poole was asked about the altercation with Green, he decided to deliver a standoffish answer, calling the season “just business.”
“I don’t have no answer for you other than that we was just on the court and teammates, and we was out there trying to win games,” Poole said via Logan Murdock of The Ringer. “It’s just business, honestly. And that’s really all it was, it is, it has been. It’s just been business. It’s been basketball.”
He also spoke about the maturity it took to play through a situation like that.
“I don’t speak on it much,” Poole said. “But I will say that … you’ve got to have a different level of maturity. We had a season to play. You’re going to have to play with these people in the locker room, and that’s why I said maturity is a big thin. What I know for a fact is there aren’t many people who would be able to think logically and understand the magnitude of the situation, you know?”
Jordan Poole Breaks Down Struggles in Warriors Playoff Run
As far as Poole’s on-court struggles throughout the playoffs, he blamed those on a different role.
“Probably just a little bit of a role change,” Poole said. “Last year, I could come in, score, be aggressive with the team that we had around being more of a facilitator. Trying to get guys off the ball. Get them easy shots. Throughout the course of the playoffs, we had two really good defensive teams that we played. Just trying to find ways to facilitate, get inside. It’s not always about scoring. It’s about finding ways to try to help her team be successful. I think every playoffs will be different. Everything won’t be the same. And like I said, you learn from that, grow from that, and apply it to your skill set.”