Since Draymond Green’s arrival in the NBA, he’s been a loud, outspoken team enforcer who’s gone above and beyond as the vocal leader of the Golden State Warriors before, during, and after their championship run. After a two-year hiatus, the Warriors are playing at a championship level again. Green is doing his thing defensively and still barking at opponents and teammates on the court.
Green finds a way to stay in the headlines, as he’s been regularly involved in some type of on-court shenanigans throughout most of his career. Whether it’s an incident with another Warrior (Kevin Durant), collecting technical fouls, or getting under the skin of an opposing player, Draymond is going to make his presence felt in many ways throughout an NBA season.
The latest target for Green on the Warriors looks to be third-year guard Jordan Poole. The two have had dustups twice in the past month, either on the court or sidelines. During Saturday’s 102-93 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Green gave Poole an earful after the latter complained to refs about a foul he thought should have been called. Poole’s lack of hustle back to the defensive end allowed the Sixers an easy layup which, in turn, infuriated Green, resulting in the altercation. The first incident between them came in November during a game against the Timberwolves, and Green had to be held back by teammates on the sideline.
For all the good Draymond brings to the table, you must also be willing to take some of the bad as well. These little spats happen on all teams at some point, and the beef is usually squashed rather quickly afterward. This is what happened after Green-Poole I back in November. I’m sure the same thing will happen after part 2. Give it a day or two and let these guys settle down, then have them talk it out the way Green and Durant should have a few years ago. Most people likely won’t pay much attention to these spats until long after the fact because it isn’t a high-profile name Green is pouncing on this time like Durant.
Green’s wild ways fit this Warriors squad perfectly, although he isn’t the team’s best player. At best, he’s been number three on this team (when Klay Thompson plays), but since the Splash Brothers are both laid back and not big talkers, Green stepped right in as the voice this team has needed. And it works for them.
But Draymond’s style of leadership works best in a winning situation. And at this stage, it seems to fit best with a younger team now that Golden State’s core is older. This is a very young Warriors team besides Green, Thompson, Steph Curry, and Andre Iguodala. Veteran players aren’t as open to enduring Green’s tirades as players in their early 20s might be.
While the Green-Poole incident isn’t a huge deal and won’t get the attention of his and Durant’s sideline fallout, it will be something to keep an eye on as the season progresses. That’s already two times Green and Poole have gotten into it in the last few weeks. Hopefully, they can squash this and not let it linger. Poole has proven to be a vital piece to the Warriors’ rotation this year, and they will need his production moving forward even once Klay is back on the floor. So, we’ll see what happens this time, but I doubt this is the last we’ll hear of Green where some sort of altercation is concerned.