There’s been a steady chorus of pundits, fans, and indeed, Golden State of Mind commenters calling for Draymond Green to be suspended for punching Jordan Poole at practice. But according to ESPN’s Marc Spears, one person who didn’t think Draymond should be suspended was Jordan Poole.
In an appearance on NBA Today, Spears reported that Poole and Green both spoke in front of the team, and Poole said “he didn’t think it was necessary that Draymond get a suspension.” Now, we don’t know exactly what happened here, but the way it’s reported sounds like Poole had to say this in front of the whole team and the guy who just punched him in the face a few days ago.
Spears went on to describe the decision-making process about the non-suspension. “It was put in front of the players whether they thought that Draymond deserved a suspension. And what I was told was that the players weren’t comfortable levying a suspension on one of their own teammates. They wanted management to make that decision.”
This seems perfectly reasonable, and also seems distinctly different from the players saying they didn’t think Draymond deserved a suspension. The players said they didn’t want to issue a suspension, which is certainly not their responsibility. Especially toward a notoriously grudge-holding teammate who can still recite the names of all 34 players drafted ahead of him in 2012.
“With that in mind, with what Poole and teammates thought, the ownership and the front office decided that Green would not be suspended,” continued Spears, who explained that because Green had been away from the team for a week, it was sort of like he did get suspended. Even though, he definitively did not.
Look, Jordan Poole might be over the incident, though Spears said he didn’t know if they’d be “sitting down and enjoying clam chowder together any time soon.” We can assume he’d like to stop discussing it at least. And judging how Anthony Davis dominated their frontcourt in their first domestic preseason game, the team can certainly use Green for the opener against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
But it feels like the main takeaway is that Joe Lacob really didn’t want to suspend Draymond Green, and they organization chose to avoid responsibility for the decision by passing the buck to the players. Spears’ comment about ownership and front office making the decision notably leaves out one key decision-maker: Coach Steve Kerr. And it’s hard to equate the players not wanting to have a possible suspension be their decision, with them not wanting a suspension at all.
But it’s also possible that the whole detente was brokered by the man Steve Kerr called the Warriors’ “moral compass”, the wise-beyond-his-26-years Kevon Looney.
This felt emphatic live. It still is on replay. pic.twitter.com/AZcExXDa7o— Marcus Thompson II (@ThompsonScribe) October 13, 2022
Is there anything Loon can’t do? Pull down 22 rebounds in a closeout playoff game? No problem. Put the Warriors on his back to spark a 19-point comeback against the Mavericks? All in a day’s work. Blanket Jayson Tatum and finish the Finals with a ridiculous +48 plus-minus? Just Looney doing Looney things. But if Looney has really brokered a peace after what Kerr called “the biggest crisis” of his time with Warriors, he truly is the ultimate glue guy. In fact, the Warriors should give Draymond’s “undisclosed” fine money directly to Looney. Just don’t make the players decide on it! It’s not their job!