Draymond Green is back, at least in the building. The future Hall of Famer was reinstated over the weekend by the NBA after an indefinite suspension that kept him away from the Golden State Warriors for 12 games.
The conclusion of his suspension meant that Green was on the bench for the team’s embarrassing Sunday evening loss against the Toronto Raptors, where he was seen talking with teammates throughout the course of the action. It also meant that he collected a game check after an absence that docked him a few million dollars.
He’s not playing just yet, and we’re not sure when he will play. While Green was allowed to practice with the team and use the facilities during his suspension, he primarily stayed away, using the time for its intended purpose: to improve himself off the court. Green said on Tuesday that he’ll be ready to play whenever the medical staff clears him, but also noted that his teammates, coaches, and the locker room will factor into the timeline.
Whenever he does return, Steve Kerr has given him a lofty but admirable goal: stop arguing with the refs. Kerr revealed to reporters on Tuesday that the Warriors want the four-time All-Star to focus less on the refs so that the team can focus more on the details that have plagued their disappointing 2023-24 campaign. Kerr also admitted the obvious: it’s easier said than done.
“It’s a big part of it, and we’ve talked about it,” Kerr said after Tuesday’s practice. “Can he walk that line, can he still play with fire and energy, but leave the officials alone? That’s the challenge. It’s gonna be a big challenge. But we’re gonna ask him to do that. We need that, so that we can focus on the game. His teammates need that, so that we can focus on all of the little details that are eluding us right now.”
Steve Kerr said the Warriors are asking Draymond Green to leave referees alone upon his return.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 9, 2024
“His teammates need that so we can focus on all the details that are eluding us right now.” pic.twitter.com/vMo31zYoLw
It’s probably safe to assume that Green won’t be able to fully stop arguing with refs. There will be moments where he slips up and gets caught up in the moment. But some improvement on that front would help the Warriors focus on the execution issues at hand, set a good example for his young teammates, and be a step towards the team not spiraling out of control whenever they’re faced with adversity.