Draymond Green hijacked internet headlines Wednesday evening following his fight with Jordan Poole, which spilled into Thursday with all the talk about why this fight occurred. Thursday morning, a Tweet was posted from the latest episode of LeBron James’ “The Shop,” which features Green commenting on which NBA teams get him excited to play against ‘em and which don’t.
It should be easy to understand what Green is saying in theory but looking back at the NBA Finals in June, it didn’t seem like he got up for that challenge either. Golden State faced the best team in the association over the second half of the year, and Green was so ineffective that he was benched at one point.
Not getting hyped up on a random Tuesday night for a game with the Sacramento Kings or OKC Thunder makes sense. It certainly makes sense for a player like Green, who’s played in more big games over the last decade than anybody besides James and teammates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
We also must acknowledge the last time we saw Draymond in games that meant something, his best certainly wasn’t on display. Luckily, the Warriors won their fourth title in eight years on the back of Curry going off on the Celtics, for which they had no answer. Green finally came alive in games five and six of the Finals because the previous four were horrid.
Every player goes through bad stretches, but we’re getting to the point where you have to wonder if Green can hit the switch that easily. He says he gets up for games against the better teams in the league but essentially couldn’t care less about the games against cellar dwellers.
Surely, the 32-year-old has felt this way for a while, considering his level of success in the NBA. But this was released, not even a full day removed from his alleged physical altercation with teammate Jordan Poole during practice on Wednesday. This was round two of an incident between these two that happened early last season.
Nearly one year later, Poole and Green are back at it. There could be any number of reasons for an issue sparking again between the two. The most glaring issue is that Green wants a max contract extension, but it seems he isn’t going to get it. At least not the amount of money he wants. Draymond has even spoken publicly, doubting it’ll happen.
That doesn’t mean Green is leaving Golden State after the 2022-23 season. It does mean they probably won’t come to an agreement before the regular season begins on Oct. 18. Poole is also in line for an extension and could get his before Green. It’s been speculated that extensions and timing are at the crux of the situation this time.
But you know what? None of that will matter once the season officially gets underway in less than two weeks. These guys don’t have to like each other personally. Life isn’t perfect, and just because they may not mesh personally doesn’t mean they can’t hoop together and play at the highest level. We’ve seen it many times in the past, and we’ll continue to see it in the future in professional sports. Dudes get into scuffles, and sometimes a punch is thrown. It’s not the end of the world. Now it’s not ideal or mature, but it’s life. When it’s time to play, both Green and Poole should be able to put this pettiness behind them and go defend their title.
By the time Green and Poole step back onto the court together, this will be forgotten, and everyone will have moved on. Of course, there’s always the possibility of something more bubbling up in the heat of battle, but none of this should affect the Warriors’ chances of repeating. If they don’t, it’ll be because a team came along and outplayed them, not because two of their most important players seemingly don’t like each other.