Things are not looking good for the Golden State Warriors as the team faces elimination in the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers. With tensions appearing to mount within the Warriors locker room, the Lakers may have an opportunity to take advantage of a Golden State team that has been surrounded by drama throughout the season.
NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke broke down the tense scene inside the Warriors locker room following the team’s Game 4 loss to the Lakers. Burke noted that several Warriors players were focused on Jordan Poole’s postgame comments which “heightened the tension” in the room.
“Let me just paint a picture of what that locker room was like. So, the Warriors PR was coming over and saying, ‘Jordan, could you please talk postgame?’ He seemed a little reluctant,” Burke detailed during a May 9, 2023 report. “You could tell that he was very frustrated. He was facing his locker actually, so as the reporters gathered around him- when it did become clear that he would talk to us- his back was to us. …He turned his music off for us.
“…So, when that music went off, all of the other players were listening as well. You could see Andrew Wiggins. There was [Kevon] Looney right nearby, then [Gary Payton II] came to the locker. It was like all eyes and ears were on Jordan right there and it just heightened the tension.
“…And then when we all backed out, the music started again and there was some tension-breaking laughter in the room as reporters and Jordan kind of digested [what as said].”
Poole has been unable to live up to his four-year, $128 million contract during a disappointing playoff series against the Lakers. The guard signed the extension days before the start of the 2022-23 NBA season last October.
LeBron James on Potential Lakers Letdown: ‘You Just Can’t Do It vs. Golden State. It’s Not Possible.’
The Warriors season started with the circulation of a viral video of Draymond Green punching Poole in the face. There has also been speculation about Green’s future with Golden State as the star has a player option that allows him to potentially become a free agent this offseason. With the Lakers one game away from advancing to the Western Conference finals, LeBron James noted he is not worried about a potential letdown in Game 5 as “it’s not possible” when facing the Warriors.
“I think we’ll be ready,” James explained during a May 9 press conference. “One thing about when you play Golden State, you don’t have an opportunity to relax. You just don’t. So, I’m not worried about us going in there comfortable. You just can’t do it versus Golden State. It’s not possible.”
Warriors Rumors: Steve Kerr Appears Frustrated Over Media Leaks During Series vs. Lakers
When The Athletic’s Shams Charania broke news about a Golden State starting lineup change ahead of Game 4, head coach Steve Kerr did not appear happy that people within the organization are leaking information. Kerr joked that the Warriors must have a “special correspondent” who is sharing news with Charania.
“Steve Kerr on Shams breaking the GPII starting news: ‘We have a special correspondent in the organization that shares lineups with Shams, apparently,'” San Francisco Chronicle’s C.J. Holmes tweeted on May 8.