Draymond Green has been reinstated by the NBA after serving a 12-game suspension, but the Golden State Warriors forward revealed he nearly retired during his time away from the team. According to Green, a talk with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver convinced him not to walk away.
Background of Green’s Suspension
Green was suspended on November 9th after a physical altercation with teammate Jordan Poole during practice left Poole with a facial injury. The incident occurred just days before the start of the 2023-24 NBA season.
This table outlines key events in the lead-up and aftermath of Green’s suspension:
|October 5, 2022
|Physical altercation between Green and Poole at Warriors practice
|November 9, 2022
|Green handed 12-game suspension by Warriors
|November 9, 2022
|Warriors announce Green is away from team to focus on “needed growth”
|December 23, 2022
|Green’s 12-game suspension ends
|January 6, 2023
|NBA reinstates Green to return to Warriors
The suspension was the longest handed down by the Warriors to one of their players for an on-court incident. At the time, the team said Green would be away focusing on “needed growth” before returning.
Green Considered Retirement During Absence
In an appearance on “The Volume” podcast, Green revealed he considered retiring during his time away from the Warriors while serving the suspension.
“I had the talk with Adam [Silver] and ultimately made the decision to come back,” Green said. “Adam told me, ‘Think about what you’re doing before you make that decision.'”
Green said the time away allowed him to reflect and work on himself. He admitted he “failed as a leader” and struggled watching the defending champion Warriors play without him.
“I was like, ‘Nah, I’m done,'” Green said of retiring. “It hurt me to watch my teammates playing.”
Silver Convinces Green To Return
According to Green, his discussion with Commissioner Silver played a pivotal role in convincing him not to retire. Silver talked Green out of making a “drastic decision” in the heat of the moment.
“He told me to take time and think about it,” Green said. “And that was very helpful for me to hear, especially from the Commissioner of the league.”
In the end, Green says he is returning as a “changed man” who learned important lessons during his suspension.
Warriors Happy To Have Green Back
The Warriors never lost faith Green would make amends and rejoin the team. Head coach Steve Kerr supported the lengthy ban as a chance for Green to “grow and change” and general manager Bob Myers committed to moving forward together.
Star guard Stephen Curry said Green’s return comes at an ideal time with the Warriors needing a “jolt” to build momentum before the All-Star break next month.
“We’re ready to start playing good basketball down the stretch. Draymond automatically elevates our ceiling,” Curry said.
Klay Thompson called Green the “heartbeat” of the Warriors and is excited to reunite the core trio of Green, Curry and himself that has led Golden State to four NBA titles since 2015.
What Changes With Green Back?
- Brings Finals MVP-caliber defense and intensity
- Unlocks “small ball” lineups at center
- Takes pressure off young big men (Wiseman, Kuminga)
- Frees up Wiggins to be better utilized as a scorer
- Adds playmaking to boost scoring volume
- Vocal leader holds teammates accountable
What’s Next For Warriors and Green?
Now that he’s back, the Warriors will be keeping a close eye on Green’s conduct going forward. Any further violent outbursts could bring harsher punishment, perhaps even release from the team.
Green is also now just 16 technical fouls away from an automatic one-game suspension, so he’ll need to keep his emotions in check on the court.
The Warriors player most impacted by Green’s return is likely Jordan Poole. The two teammates have yet to directly address the practice altercation that led to Green’s suspension. How they co-exist could decide if Golden State makes another deep playoff run.
For now, the focus is integrating Green back into the lineup during a critical stretch before the All-Star break. The defending champions are eager to make a surge up the West standings, and a motivated Green could give them the spark they need.
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