Woj: Warriors’ Ring Night Had ‘Significant’ Impact on Draymond Green Punishment | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

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The Golden State Warriors made the decision to only fine Draymond Green, not suspend him, and allow him to start the regular season with the team after he punched teammate Jordan Poole in the face during an altercation at a team practice.

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on NBA Countdown that the decision reportedly had a lot to do with the teams getting their championship rings from last season on opening night:

“I’m told that the Warriors put a significant amount of weight on the fact that opening night was ring night,” Wojnarowski said. “That the players are going to get their rings—Green, Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, their fourth championship in Golden State. The banner’s gonna be raised. They didn’t treat this like it was one of 82. They didn’t want to suspend Draymond Green and keep him from that. Now, if this incident had happened in the regular season—or if this had just been a normal opening night, and they weren’t there as defending champions—there probably would have been a suspension. “

On Tuesday, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr addressed the situation:

NBA on ESPN @ESPNNBA

Steve Kerr addressed the decision to fine Draymond Green following his altercation with Jordan Poole. pic.twitter.com/ODHidwL48B

“We have spent the last week in deep discussions with all of our key figures in the organization, including Jordan and Draymond of course, Steph, all of our players, [general manager Bob Myers], myself, and I can tell you there have been a lot of conversations, individual, one-on-one discussions, players-only discussions,” he said. “Everything that you can think of, all the different combinations that are possible to have in a conversation, we’ve had them. It’s been an exhaustive process.

“We feel like we have a great feeling for our team. We’ve got a lot of continuity on this team, so Bob and I know our players extremely well. We feel like this is the best way after assessing everything for us to move forward. It’s never easy no matter what decision you make in a situation like this. It’s not going to be perfect. This is the biggest crisis that we’ve ever had since I’ve been coach here. It’s really serious stuff.”

On Saturday, Green told reporters he would be taking some time away from the team after punching Poole.

“I’m going to continue to stay away, as I’ve been away, and continue to do work on myself, but also just give guys space,” he said. “I do want to give my team some space, I want to give Jordan some space, and then also take a few days and continue to work on myself… take some time to let everything breathe.”

Per ESPN’s Kendra Andrews, Green apologized to both Poole and the rest of his Warriors teammates on Thursday, a day after the incident.

Michael Lee @MrMichaelLee

This is disappointing mismanagement by GSW. Jordan Poole’s not going to jeopardize his bread or the dynasty by insisting Draymond Green get severely punished or moved. But the organization should protect him from a teammate who escalated a situation & violated trust with violence

Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz @LeBatardShow

“In an NBA practice, guys fight. Guys punch each other. I’ve seen guys choke each other. This happens.” – @DarthAmin explained why Draymond Green’s actions weren’t as uncommon as people think and broke down the differences between NBA game fights and NBA practice fights. pic.twitter.com/ad9zUylpaN

Green—who has been very close to Poole as they head into their fourth year as teammates, and has had his locker next to Poole’s during that time—acknowledged that repairing the relationship with his teammate would take time.

“Jordan’s feelings are the most important, and to be honest I’m not sure how he feels,” he said over the weekend. “That’s not a bridge we’ve crossed yet, nor should it be a bridge we’ve crossed yet. The most important thing initially is to allow Jordan to work through his thoughts and not me to try to persuade his thoughts one way or another.”

That process will begin when Green returns to practice on Thursday, and play out through the regular season. It very obviously will be a huge storyline for the Warriors as they look to defend a championship, especially if Poole and Green aren’t able to mend fences.

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