Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr announced on Tuesday that Draymond Green has been fined but not suspended for punching teammate Jordan Poole in practice.
Kerr made the announcement after Golden State’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, calling the situation “the biggest crisis we’ve ever had.” He declined to disclose the amount of the fine.
“He’s coming back to training on Thursday,” Kerr said. “He has been fined. He will not be suspended. I expect him to play in our last game of the preseason and on the opening night on Friday.”
‘The biggest crisis we’ve ever had’
Kerr said “key figures” in the organization, including Green, Poole, Stephen Curry and CEO Bob Myers, were involved in talks leading up to the decision on Green’s sentence.
“It’s been an exhausting process,” Kerr continued. … “We feel this is the best way after reviewing everything to move forward. It’s never easy, whatever decision you make in a situation like this. It won’t be perfect.
“This is the biggest crisis we’ve ever had since I’ve been here as a coach. It’s really serious stuff.”
Kerr added that he trusts Green and that the Warriors veteran has earned the benefit of the doubt.
“I trust him,” Kerr said. “He broke our trust with this incident. But I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because I think he deserved it. I think our team feels the same way.”
Green punched Poole in the jaw
Green apologized on Saturday after Friday reports that he punched Poole in practice. Sources told Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill that tensions between Green and Poole had been simmering since the start of training camp. Both players are eligible for contract extensions and Poole, 23, is expected to receive an extension, while Green’s future with the franchise remains unclear. Green, 32, has played a key role in helping the Warriors win four NBA championships.
Following the reports, TMZ published a video leaked from the Warriors drill showing Green stepping to Poole’s chest amid an apparent verbal confrontation, then punching Poole in the jaw and knocking him to the ground.
Green told reporters he apologized to Poole, his family and the Warriors for “the embarrassment” caused by the attack, stating, “I’ve failed as a leader. I’ve failed as a man.”
“I was wrong with my actions that happened on Wednesday,” said Green. “I apologized to my team for that. I apologized to Jordan.”
He denied that the attack had anything to do with his or Poole’s contract situations.
“I can assure you I don’t measure other people’s pockets,” Green added.
Why hasn’t Green been suspended?
The Warriors have disciplined Green for an altercation with a teammate before. The team suspended him for one game in 2018 citing “behavior that is harmful to the team.” That time he called then-teammate Kevin Durant a “bitch” during a match against the Los Angeles Clippers. He didn’t hit Durant.
Kerr was asked why Green was not suspended this time.
“Every situation is completely different,” Kerr said. “We don’t look at everything in a vacuum and say, ‘Well, we did that here, we have to do that there.’ We hope we’ve developed enough fairness with the experience we have with our fan base, with people watching over the past ten years, that people can trust that we’ve really thought about this decision.
“Like I said, we feel this is the best way forward.”
Kerr added that discussions with Green and Poole played a part in the decision-making process together.
“Jordan and Draymond had a great conversation that I think will help us move forward,” Kerr said.
Poole has not publicly raised the incident. Kerr expects Poole to speak to the media soon.
The Warriors begin their regular season at home on October 18 against the Los Angeles Lakers, where they will celebrate their 2022 NBA Championship with a ring ceremony.
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