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Draymond Green will return on Thursday, won’t be suspended

Draymond Green has been fined, but won’t be suspended as he gets ready to return to the team.

Draymond Green holding out four fingers while wearing a warmup Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

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.

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.

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.

Kerr also had very strong compliments for Kevon Looney’s role in the situation.

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.

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