The sucker punch that wasn’t

Draymond Green

The sucker punch that wasn’t
October 12
13:57 2022

Draymond Green is in the news once again for the wrong reason. It was recently reported that Green sucker punched teammate Jordan Poole in practice and the two had to be separated. After video of the incident leaked to TMZ, it was shown that Green did not sucker punch Poole and the two were involved in a scuffle.

The leaked video shows the two men apparently in a verbal altercation but because there is no audio, we cannot tell what was said. The video then shows Green casually walk over to Poole and the two men go chest to chest. Poole then shoves Green with two hands and sort of takes a step or two backwards. That is when Green throws a left hook that drops Poole to the ground, resulting in staff and fellow players intervening.

The Warriors are upset that the video has been leaked and have stated that they are taking “every legal course of action” to find out how the video was made public. Additionally, Green made an apology to Poole, his teammates and the fans.

“I was wrong from my actions that took place on Wednesday,” said Green. “And for that I have apologized to my team, I have apologized to Jordan and I wanted to take that a step further: With the event yesterday with the video leaking, there is a huge embarrassment that comes with that not only for myself, as I was the one who committed that action … but the embarrassment that Jordan has to deal with, and this team has to deal with, this organization has to deal with, but also Jordan’s family.”

During the press conference, Green stated he was upset about the video being leaked, which is a point I understand and totally agree with. Video of this situation should have never left the building and should have been handled in house, so Draymond was right in his frustration with that, however, he was wrong for throwing the punch.

“I’m looking at the video and I’m like, ‘Yo, this looks awful. Like, this looks even worse than I thought it was.It’s pathetic,’” he said. “And then I had to take a step back, too, and realize this video was actually released this way to look that way.”

What many people fail to realize is that when you are an athlete, emotions run high and it is commonplace to have disagreements with your teammates. These are professional athletes making millions of dollars, so I would imagine with the pressure of trying to win and appease coaches and the team management, that the tension would be even higher than with your normal high school or college team.

As a result of his actions, Green has chosen to take some time away from the team to get himself together as he says he was not in the right space when the altercation with Poole took place.

“I’m going to continue to stay away, as I’ve been away, and continue to do work on myself, but also just give guys space,” he said in the news conference. “I do want to give my team some space, I want to give Jordan some space, and then also take a few days and continue to work on myself … take some time to let everything breathe.”

This happened during pre-season training camp, which is exactly when it would most likely happen. Being around the same guys every single day and playing scrimmages against your teammates will cause a dust-up every now and again. I am not saying that punches are thrown often, but arguments, pushing and shoving, and profanity are common in the preseason.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr says the fact that the video leaked has impacted the way the team has been able to move forward from the situation. Kerr would know firsthand what Poole is going through as he was infamously involved in a similar situation during his playing career.  I am not sure any video evidence exists but Kerr was punched in the face by Michael Jordan during their 1998 championship run in practice.

“In 32 years, I’ve probably seen 20-plus fights. It should not make it out of our walls,” said Kerr.

“When things are kept internally, it’s almost easy to handle. As soon as things are leaked, all hell breaks loose. That affects every single player, coach. … It’s like if you had a camera in your family and there was a family dispute. Would you really want to discuss it with the world? No.”

If Kerr has seen more than 20 fights, there are probably hundreds across the other franchises that he hasn’t seen and that have not been made public. Those types of things are better kept in house and dealt with internally. The general public typically does not understand how something like that could happen in the workplace. 

There has been speculation that the altercation was fueled by contract talks involving both players. Poole is eligible for a rookie extension and is currently negotiating with the team and Green has a player option at the end of the year and could become an unrestricted free agent in 2024. It would be tough for the Warriors to afford to keep both players with the amount of money they would warrant.

The team stated they will handle any discipline in-house concerning Green. Green has also stated he does not know how long his hiatus from the team will be. I don’t envision it will be very long and I am sure he will be back in the fold for opening night for the Warriors on Oct. 18.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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