Warriors’ Draymond Green Apologizes for Punching Jordan Poole

Warriors' Draymond Green Apologizes for Punching Jordan Poole

Golden State forward Draymond Green said that he was in a “very bad space mentally” when he punched his teammate Jordan Poole during a practice Wednesday but that there was no excuse for his actions.

“I failed as a man,” Green said during a news conference Saturday in his first public comments about the situation. “I failed as a leader.”

Word of an altercation between Green and Poole first emerged Wednesday, but on Friday, TMZ posted a leaked video of the fight. The team said it was investigating how the video became public.

Green said it was “embarrassing,” both for him and for Poole, that the incident was seen by their families. He would not say what prompted the punch, adding that he was not looking for sympathy or to change public opinion about what he did.

“What I did was wrong,” he said, adding that the altercation looked worse than he thought when he saw the video.

Some media reports said that the fight was related to the players’ contract situations. Green and Poole are eligible for pricey extensions, and it is possible that the team will not extend offers to both of them. But Green said the contracts had “absolutely nothing” to do with the fight.

In the video, Green and Poole appear to be exchanging words as Green comes chest to chest with Poole, who then shoves him and moves backward. But Green keeps coming toward Poole and punches him.

Green said he apologized to the team and to Poole but did not know how Poole felt about the situation. He said he wanted to give Poole space.

The team said it would handle punishment for Green internally, and Green has not practiced with the team for the past several days. He said he expected to play in the team’s season-opener at home against the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 18, but Golden State Coach Steve Kerr said there was no set date for his return. Kerr said the team and Green mutually agreed that he should be away from the team right now.

Kerr would not say what he would take for Green to be allowed to rejoin the team, and he responded “no comment” when asked if this situation had affected his trust in Green.

At the season-opener, Golden State’s players and staff members will receive rings for winning the 2022 NBA championship in June. It was the fourth title for the team’s championship core of Green, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala.

Green said he did not think his fight would affect the team’s success, though he acknowledged that he had “splintered” the brotherhood and needed to rebuild trust with his teammates.

“I am a very flawed human being,” he said, adding that he looked forward to “doing the work” to improve himself. When asked what that process would entail, he did not go into specifics.

Green has become known for his fiery energy on the basketball court, which sometimes manifests as arguments with referees and other players. But the punch at practice was an unusual escalation. Green said he liked to keep his emotions bottled up but that he needed to work on releasing them in better ways.

“I hurt someone because I was in a place of hurt,” he said.

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