Draymond Green Doubted Warriors Return After Jordan Poole Punching Incident

Draymond Green, Jordan Poole, Warriors

Getty Jordan Poole and Draymond Green

Four-time NBA champion Draymond Green thought his Golden State Warriors chapter was over when the punching incident involving his now-former teammate Jordan Poole went viral.

“What gave me doubt is that I didn’t know if I would have the opportunity to redeem myself,” Green told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk earlier this week. “Not [because] that thing necessarily happened. It’s that, do you have an opportunity to make it right, or is that just it? It doesn’t change what happened. It doesn’t change that I was at fault. But I’m a human being, and human beings do wrong.”

“But how do you stand when it goes wrong, when things ain’t on your side? When everybody’s against you, when the world is saying, ‘Oh man, now all of a sudden you’re not worth the money you make.’ Or, ‘You’re the cancer and you’re the problem’ four championships later.”

While they tried to bury the hatchet, the team’s chemistry was never the same after the last October punching incident. Six months later, the Warriors lost in the second round, marking the first time they got bounced in the playoffs in Steve Kerr’s era.

“Anytime some trust is lost, then it makes the process much more difficult, and there was some trust lost,” Kerr said during his exit interview after the Los Angeles Lakers eliminated them in May. “That’s as blunt as I can be. We have to get back to what has made us really successful, which is a really trusting environment and a group that relies on one another and makes each other better.”

But the Warriors stuck by Green’s side, trading away the much younger Poole for 38-year-old, 12-time All-Star point guard Chris Paul. The Warriors signed the 33-year-old Green to a massive four-year, $100 million extension following the stunning trade.

But more than redemption, Green aims to equal Michael Jordan’s six titles with the Chicago Bulls, the last NBA dynasty before them, and give Paul his first ring along the way.

“I look at this as one of the most important years of my career,” Green told Youngmisuk. “… It’s not to redeem anything about Draymond. My goal is that we can help Chris Paul get his first championship.”

Chris Paul Expected to Start

Paul is expected to start alongside Stephen Curry at the Warriors backcourt on his first season with them, according to ESPN and Andscape’s senior writer Marc Spears.

“I do expect him to start. And I think it’s like five-minute spurts,” Spears said on the September 7 episode of the Yahoo Sports Ball Don’t Lie’s Good Word with Goodwill podcast. “I don’t know that they really want his minutes to be high, but I think they’re gonna try it. I could be wrong, but that’s the gist I’m getting. This isn’t an opinion that he’s expected to start. It’s what I’m hearing. He’s never not started in his career.”

Last season, the Warriors’ most used starting lineup was Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Green and Kevon Looney. Green had been effective as a small-ball center whenever Kerr paired Curry and the 6-foot-4 Poole at the backcourt so that leaves Looney as the odd man out.

Warriors’ Free Agent Workouts

The Warriors continued to conduct workouts with NBA free agents for their remaining two roster spots.

Veteran big men Dewayne Dedmon, Derrick Favors, former Warriors Kent Bazemore, Juan Toscano-Anderson, veteran wings Jaylen Nowell, Stanley Johnson and Will Barton were part of the list that auditioned for the Warriors, according to Hoopshype’s Michael Scotto.

However, a Moses Moody Instagram story caused a stir. The post showed Bazemore and Toscano-Anderson’s names in their locker room. Bazemore’s supposed locker was spotted next to Warriors rookie Brandin Podziemski, while Toscano-Anderson’s was flanked by Curry and Wiggins’ lockers.




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