Draymond Green Says Warriors 'Would Still Be Playing' If He Never Punched Jordan Poole

During an interview with Stephen A. Smith, Green broke down how the punch impacted the Warriors' season.

Golden State Warriors players Draymond Green and Jordan Poole
Getty/Christian Petersen
Golden State Warriors players Draymond Green and Jordan Poole

Speaking with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN on Tuesday, Draymond Green suggested the Golden State Warriors "would still be playing" if he never punched Jordan Poole prior to the season.

"Are you still playing if that stuff with Jordan Poole didn't happen early in the season?" Smith asked Green, who was fined and took some time off from the team after he was seen on video punching Poole during practice.

"I absolutely think so, because I still think the fact of the matter is it's going to be hard—I don't really think anyone could beat us," Green said. "I know we just lost. I'm not taking anything away from the Los Angeles Lakers. They're competing at a high level, they're a good team."

Green suggested that the team had a lot of "slippage on the road" because they struggled to "come together." He also took responsibility for the incident, which made him to sit back in order to give it "time to heal." The punch occurred in October of 2022, and it was only by February that Green said he felt like himself again.

"There was five months of a season where slippage was just occuring," he added. "We would still be playing...I'm aware that Jordan struggled a little bit at times this year, I get that, and had I not done that, the relationship we had I coulda been there for him. I could have carried him through that, [I] wasn't necessarily able to do that once everything happened."

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Per ESPN, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said that there was a lack of trust amid the Warriors following the incident. "Anytime some trust is lost, then it makes the process much more difficult, and there was some trust lost," Kerr said on Tuesday. "That's as blunt as I can be. We have to get back to what has made us really successful, which is a really trusting environment and a group that relies on one another and makes each other better."

The Lakers beat the Warriors 122-101 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Friday, ending their season.

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