Draymond Green has rejoined the Golden State Warriors after serving a 12-game suspension stemming from his altercation with Jordan Poole during practice in October. Green’s reinstatement comes at a critical time for the struggling Warriors as they look to turn their season around.
Background Leading to Suspension
On October 5th, a physical altercation broke out during practice between Draymond Green and Jordan Poole. Video later emerged showing Green aggressively punching Poole in the face, knocking him to the ground.
The Warriors organization condemned Green’s actions and handed him a substantial suspension as punishment:
“These things happen. Nobody likes it, we don’t condone it, but it happened. Draymond apologized to the team. Jordan was there in the room…But ultimately Draymond crossed the line. He was suspended, fined — pretty significantly…That’s the old days that it was kind of swept under the rug. It is not swept under the rug these days.” (Steve Kerr, Warriors Head Coach)
While serving his team-imposed suspension, the NBA also conducted their own investigation into the incident. Commissioner Adam Silver and the league ultimately decided to extend Green’s suspension to a minimum of 12 games without pay.
Timeline of Key Events
|October 5, 2022
|Altercation occurs during Warriors practice
|October 6, 2022
|Video emerges showing Green punching Poole
|October 8, 2022
|Warriors announce Green suspended for at least 1 week
|October 15, 2022
|NBA levies additional 5-game suspension (12 games total)
|November 28, 2022
|Green eligible to return after serving 12 games
|January 4, 2023
|Green expected to resume on-court workouts
|January 6, 2023
|NBA officially reinstates Green
Critical Voices Encouraged Green’s Eventual Reinstatement
While there was widespread criticism of Green’s actions initially, over time important voices spoke up in support of his reinstatement after serving appropriate punishment:
“While the criticism and condemnation of what Draymond did is warranted and understandable, he’s still a human being that deserves support even through his mistakes. I’m glad the team and league worked together to hold him accountable rather than reacting emotionally, so that he can learn and come back better.” (LeBron James, Lakers Forward, via Twitter)
“Look – what he did was wrong, plain and simple. But I know Draymond, I know his heart. After 34 years in this league, I truly believe in redemption when someone owns their mistake and puts in the work. I hope he’s getting support to improve and I’m happy he’ll be back on the court soon.” (Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Former Lakers Guard and Current TV Analyst, via Twitter)
These votes of confidence from respected figures like LeBron and Magic likely played a pivotal role in the NBA’s decision to ultimately reinstate Green.
Green Expresses Remorse, Focuses on Returning Strong
For his part, Green has expressed deep remorse for his actions:
“I was wrong for my actions that took place on October 5th. For that I have apologized to my team. I have apologized to Jordan.” (Draymond Green, via ESPN Interview)
He went on to share that at one point during his lengthy suspension, he even considered retiring. However, after discussions with Warriors leadership and Commissioner Adam Silver, he recommitted himself to returning with an improved mindset:
“When you fail, you try to come back better…My next step is continuing to work on myself, as I have been over these last 6-7 weeks.” (Draymond Green, via ESPN Interview)
Green Ramping Up Preparations for Return to Lineup
On January 4th, reports emerged that Green would resume on-court workouts with the Warriors in anticipation of his impending reinstatement. Warriors HC Steve Kerr confirmed Green’s presence at team facilities while taking a measured approach regarding his eventual return to game action:
“This is not about sending a message. This is completely about supporting Draymond the person.” (Steve Kerr, Warriors Head Coach, via SF Chronicle Interview)
“He needs to get his conditioning and rhythm back before we throw him out on the floor.” (Steve Kerr)
Once officially reinstated on January 6th, Green participated fully in the team’s practice and walkthrough sessions over the weekend. Teammates and coaches noted Green’s good spirits and positive mindset throughout his first workouts back.
As Green continues to ramp up, all signs point to an imminent return to game action within 1-2 weeks. His first possible game would be January 13th at home against the San Antonio Spurs.
Uncertain Future Upon Green’s Return
While his return will likely provide an emotional spark, uncertainty remains regarding Green’s long-term future with the team. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry have both rallied around Green publicly, but reports indicate lingering tension behind the scenes.
Trade speculation has also grown involving Green or other Warriors veterans to jumpstart a middling 19-21 squad. With the trade deadline on February 9th rapidly approaching, his reinstatement combined with on-court play could directly impact Warriors trade decisions:
“I think it might push them a little bit more to make a trade. This team has desperately needed a shake up.” (Former Warriors Forward Matt Barnes weighing in on Green’s return, via Twitter
Compounding matters is Green’s contract situation, as he is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the 2024 offseason. How well he meshes upon returning could determine whether Warriors executives even approach him with another contract.
In any event, the next 6-8 weeks promise to directly shape several legacies and the short-to-medium-term trajectory of the team. Much hinges on how successfully Green reintegrates himself after his lengthy absence.
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