Draymond Green is back. On Tuesday, after the Golden State Warriors dismantled the Portland Trail Blazers in a preseason game, coach Steve Kerr announced that Green would return to the team for Thursday’s practice.
Kerr said that the expectation is that Green will play in the team’s final preseason game on Friday, and on Opening Night on Tuesday. Green has been fined an undisclosed amount, but will not be suspended for punching Jordan Poole during a practice scuffle last week.
Here’s Kerr’s full opening remarks.
Here is Steve Kerr’s full statement on the Draymond Green punishment. Fine not a suspension. Called it the “biggest crisis” they’ve faced since he’s been with Warriors. pic.twitter.com/xao83wrfT2— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 12, 2022
Kerr referred to the incident as the “biggest crisis that we’ve ever had since I’ve been here,” and mentioned that it was far worse than the altercation that Green had with Kevin Durant back in the winter of 2018. And aware that the team might be criticized for the light punishment, Kerr admitted that criticism was valid, and said he hopes that people trust that the Warriors understand the dynamic of their team.
As for the leniency of the punishment, Steve Kerr says "Any criticism that we face here is fair."— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) October 12, 2022
Kerr was quick to explain that the decision was made after many, many conversations, and pointed to how many of them involved Poole. He also stressed that Poole and Green had taken time to talk together, and that they seem to be in a good place.
On Draymond's return, Kerr says "Jordan obviously had to be involved in this."— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) October 12, 2022
Confirmed that Poole and Draymond got together and "had a great discussion that I think will help us come forward."
Kerr also had very strong compliments for Kevon Looney’s role in the situation.
Kerr says Looney "has so much wisdom" and has become "the moral compass" of the team. "He was a key instrument in everything that we've had going the last week to get things back on track. I'll ride with Loon forever. This is a special man."— Kerith Burke (@KerithBurke) October 12, 2022
Criticizing the leniency of the punishment is certainly valid, but it is abundantly clear that the Warriors are moving forward because of Poole, not in spite of him. It would be very easy keep Green out longer if Poole were not on board with a return.
It’s also clear that there’s work to be done. Kerr said that Green “Broke our trust, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt because I think he’s earned that, and I think our team feels that way,” before pointing out that Green will still have to regain that trust moving forward.
The Warriors will look awful if this incident resurfaces down the road. But, like Green, they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to managing personalities and locker rooms.