Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says the bust-up between Draymond Green and Jordan Poole has been the “biggest crisis” of his time in charge at the NBA champions.
Speaking after the Warriors’ pre-season game against Portland late Tuesday, Kerr confirmed that Green had received an undisclosed fine following last week’s altercation with Poole.
Dramatic video footage of the incident showed Green punching Poole in the face after tempers flared during a practice.
However Green has escaped a suspension for the incident, with Kerr saying the four-time NBA champion would return to practice on Thursday and play in a pre-season game against Denver on Friday.
Kerr said the decision not to suspend Green — who was given a one-game suspension by the club for a 2018 altercation with Kevin Durant — was taken after wide-ranging discussion with players and team officials.
“I can tell you there’s been a lot of conversations — individual, one-on-one discussions, players-only discussions,” Kerr said. “It’s been an exhaustive process.
“After assessing everything, we feel like this is the best way for us to move forward. It’s never easy, no matter what decision you make, it’s never perfect.
“This is the biggest crisis that we’ve had since I’ve been coach here. It’s really serious stuff. We’re not perfect. Our team isn’t perfect. (General manager) Bob (Myers) and I have definitely made our share of mistakes over the years.
“But we’re going to lean on the experience that we have together over the last nine years and trust that this is the best decision for our team.
“We have a lot of work to do. All of us.”
Kerr did not disclose the amount of the fine imposed on Green, and called on fans to back the team’s decision not to suspend the 32-year-old power forward.
“I’m not going to talk about the fine other than to say he has been fined,” Kerr said.
“Every situation is totally different. We don’t look at everything in a vacuum and say ‘We did that here, so we’ve got to do that there’.
“We would hope we’ve developed enough equity that people can trust us when we say we’ve put a lot of thought into this decision.”
The Warriors host the Los Angeles Lakers next Tuesday in the opening round of fixtures of the 2022-2023 NBA season.
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