SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green apologized to the team a day after fighting with teammate Jordan Poole during practice, general manager Bob Myers said.
Poole practiced Thursday while Green did not, and Myers said any potential disciplinary action would be handled internally. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Green will be off the team again on Friday and expects him to return on Saturday.
NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry said he didn’t know what triggered the problem between Green and Poole noting that “it’s possible to get through things like this”, saying it was his job not to let it break the team.
Kerr praised Poole’s approach during the camp.
“Jordan has been fantastic throughout camp,” Kerr said. “Someone said that Jordan had an attitude in camp, nothing could be further from the truth. He has been fantastic. It’s disappointing to see misinformation out there, but I wanted to make sure I set the record straight on that. Everything else we’ll handle internally and go from there. “Draymond apologized to the team this morning, Jordan was there in the room, I was there in the room with the team, the coaches, the players and we heard that.”
The Athletic was the first to report the fight, saying that Green hit Poole. Myers said “the space is good” regarding Green not practicing and going home after addressing the team.
Curry said that “JP has been excellent and there is nothing to justify yesterday’s situation.”
Curry added that one of Green’s “superpowers is bringing his fire, competitiveness and voice.” As for the apology, “it’s necessary, but you’d have to ask each one individually how they received it, especially JP,” Curry said.
“The atmosphere at practice today was great, trying to take advantage of this week and talk about basketball and our preparation for the season,” Curry said. “Obviously, it’s an unfortunate situation to be asked about it and a situation that could have been avoided, but there’s a lot of confidence in our team structure, who we are, who we know those two guys are and how we’re going to come out of it. and try to continue playing great basketball. Personal dynamics and stuff will work itself out. That is part of the culture that we have built here. I like how we responded today, we had a great practice, good energy. Try to keep that as the focus as we go forward.”
The fiery Green, a four-time NBA champion and four-time All-Star, has long been considered the emotional leader of the Warriors. He has been willing to get involved with his teammates when he sees fit. There is an element of “tough love” to every team, Myers said, noting that “Draymond is absolutely a leader on this team.”
Green regularly pushes the league limit for technical fouls. He was suspended one game without pay in November 2018 for conduct detrimental to the team following an altercation with Kevin Durant. Green also missed Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals with an accumulation of flagrant fouls.
“It’s unfortunate, I’m not going to deny it,” Myers said of the latest incident. “It will take some time to move forward, but we will get through it and move forward and I am confident that we will. We have a good team, we have good leadership, we have some guys that have been here a long time.”
Poole’s representatives are in talks with Myers about a contract extension ahead of the Oct. 17 deadline, a day before the defending NBA champions open the season at home against the Lakers.
Both Poole and Andrew Wiggins insisted on the media day that their unresolved contract issues were not the top thing on their minds heading into pre-season. Myers said he didn’t view this dispute as something about “who gets paid and who doesn’t.” Curry agreed.
Golden State is back in the Bay Area this week and on the practice court in San Francisco after a pair of preseason wins in Japan against the Wizards. Myers doesn’t expect the incident to have a lasting effect.
“First, like anything you want to make sure everyone is okay, that comes first,” Myers said. “After that, nobody likes these things, so how do you move on? There is a process for these things, there are apologies, there is time.