Editor’s note: The following article includes the expressed opinions of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of Dove Style Magazine’s publisher, editor, or writers.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ve most likely seen the footage of Draymond Green punching his teammate Jordan Poole in the face during a Golden State Warriors practice. In case you didn’t, let me set it up for you: Draymond Green is a 6’6”, 230-pound power forward. He’s aggressive, scrappy, and is almost always in the middle of some drama on the court. However, Jordan Poole is a 6’4”, 194-pound guard who looks more like an R & B singer than a basketball player. A lot of folks have been critical of Green, saying he bullied a much smaller player, and what he did wasn’t right. But before I tell you what I think, let’s analyze what the video shows.
At the practice in question, clearly, you can see the two players having words with each other. You then see Green walking over to Poole and shortly after, Poole pushes him away with both of his hands. Green then punches him in the face, sending him to the floor. The NBA community held their collective breath waiting for the punishment that would be levied against Green for punching his teammate in the face. While he was not suspended for his actions, he was assessed an undisclosed fine, and will be in uniform for the Warriors’ home opener.
Now, I’m going to tell you what I believe really led up to what happened. Jordan Poole improved his game last year. He went from a less experienced player to now averaging 18.5 points per game. In my opinion, he’s always running his mouth, and has been “feeling himself” a little more than a player should. Although Draymond Green has been a key member of the Warriors’ championship teams, he’s 33 years old, and the organization won’t be extending his contract. Despite spending his whole career with them, he’s forced to watch younger talent like Andrew Wiggins and Poole sign big contract extensions: knowing he’s not going to be re-signed. So, let’s be real here, Green was already in his feelings knowing that he won’t be getting a new contract. On top of that, this young punk (Poole) felt it was okay to “talk that talk” to Green like he’s the guy to steal on. Word is, during their argument, Poole was hinting at getting an extension when Green retaliated and put him on the floor. For the league to decide to fine him instead of suspending him is not as surprising as one might think. If Green had been suspended during the home opener, he would’ve missed the ring ceremony; and that wasn’t going to happen.
I grew up during the Michael Jordan era. Back then, fights happened all the time. Jordan once punched Warriors’ Coach and then teammate Steve Kerr in the face during an intense practice. Latrell Sprewell choked a coach, Gilbert Arenas and a teammate drew guns on each other in the locker room, and Doug Christie’s wife hit Rick Fox with her pocketbook while the two men were brawling. I say all this to say, fights happen. Teams are made up of groups of men with different attitudes and ideals. Some are not going to get along.
Throughout my years of playing basketball, the teams where the players were all buddy-buddy with each other were considered easy prey. However, the ones that were edgy and held each other accountable were more of a challenge. In my opinion, if a guard is feeling himself and mouths off at a big man in practice, then the big man has a right to put him on the floor. Green has won four championships with the franchise. Given that some young “know it all” was getting on his nerves, he did exactly what he should have done. I said what I said.
However, don’t get me wrong, if my teammate punches me in the face, it’s on every time I see him. Every practice after that, we’re fighting. My cousins are waiting for him at home games and my boys are waiting for him at away games. It will be on 24-7. I ain’t passing him the ball, ever. I’m talking about his momma on Instagram. My level of petty would impress even the pettiest among us.
For those of you saying what happened to Jordan Poole wasn’t fair, stop it. He just got a $140-million-dollar extension from the Warriors. He’ll be fine. During that altercation, he made sure to hint that he was getting that money, knowing Green won’t be getting an extension. What do you think is going to happen after he starts getting those checks? It’s better that his teammate humbled him then instead of a real “G” doing it somewhere down the line.
Remember when basketball was good? Remember when you couldn’t take four and five steps without dribbling the ball? How about when hard fouls didn’t warrant suspensions and fines? We’ll never get back to the good old days, but Draymond gave us a taste.