By Andrew Cheigh
Just last week, a video surfaced on the Internet of Draymond Green, an all-star power forward for the Golden State Warriors known for his animated reactions on and off the court, violently punching and knocking out his teammate, Jordan Poole, in the middle of practice. In the video, Green and Poole appeared to be verbally going at each other for a while, followed by Poole pushing Green away. Green immediately responded by viciously swinging at him, knocking Poole to the ground. Although Poole was ok and able to continue practice, the impact of the altercation is detrimental to the team and its future.
As reigning champions, the Warriors were expected to offer an extension to Poole, who played a vital role in their championship run, averaging 17 points per game and 3.8 assists per game. Just today, Poole and the Warriors are reportedly finalizing a four-year, $140 million contract extension. Apparently, in the last few weeks, there has been “a change in Poole’s behavior throughout camp with the guard on the verge of securing a lucrative extension”, according to Yahoo Sports, which explains Green’s actions. Regardless, though, Green’s sucker punch does not have any valid reasoning. Physical altercations are common in the NBA, even within teams, but one player punching his teammate is not.
Last Saturday afternoon, Green apologized for his actions and announced that he will be taking a leave of absence in a press conference, saying that he had “failed as a leader.” He also revealed that he has personally apologized to Poole, but hinted that there is still friction between the two, saying, “If I’m being honest, it’s hard for me to walk up to Jordan right now”.
Many are speculating that Green will not play for the Warriors much longer, but the future of the team remains unknown. Green addressed the future, saying, “My general view of my future here, is I’m here this year trying to win a championship…I have a contract that ranges through next year, if I so choose to pick up that option, and that is my view of how it’ll be here. We all have a goal to win a championship, and that is that.”