The Golden State Warriors’ hopes of winning their fifth NBA championship since 2015 may depend on how the franchise successfully manages the fallout from what head coach Steve Kerr calls a crisis. largest in the club’s history.
For much of the past decade, the Warriors have been the epitome of consistency on and off the field, a well-trained, well-run organization that has set the standard for the rest of the league.
But Draymond Green’s practice attack on teammate Jordan Poole means the Warriors will open their NBA title defense on Tuesday with an uncertainty hanging over the locker room.
Green escaped suspension for flattening Poole with a punch that nearly knocked out his fellow Warriors teammate and is expected to start the season opener Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers.
However, whether there were long-term consequences in the Warriors’ locker room to this incident – and how team management chose to deal with it – remains an open question.
“This is the biggest crisis we’ve had since I coached here,” said Kerr, who admitted he was furious when the details of the incident were made public.
The Warriors coach said he looks forward to Green – one of the most trusted lieutenants on his field during a run that has included six NBA Finals appearances since 2015 – to rebuild.” trust” with teammates and coaches.
Kerr said: “Draymond and I have been together for eight years.
“We had a lot of races, we won championships together, we lost championships together. We’ve been through a lot of terrible things together.
“He broke our trust with this incident, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt because I think he’s earned that and I think our team feels the same way. .
“So he knows he needs to get that back.”
Green, who in April fiercely argued that Poole should have won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, said rebuilding close friendships in the locker room was more important than restoring trust.
“When people say build trust as a team, I don’t quite get it. What is trust? Do you believe you will play right? What is that?” Green said.
“What we have to do is make sure we are together. Make sure we’re doing what it takes to win the championship, make sure we’ve got each other.
“Everybody has an idea of what trust means, but what does it really mean? I don’t know very well. Ensuring camaraderie within the group is key.
“Because when you’re playing against a team and the camaraderie doesn’t match, you can tell right away. I know I can.”
Green, 32, meanwhile indicated that he plans to turn the aftermath of his clash with Poole into a positive one.
“I’m going to prove a lot of people wrong this year,” Green said. “I’ve proven people wrong all my life, so there’s some extra motivation.
“It doesn’t quite prove people wrong because the people who are talking now are the same people who have been talking forever, and they have been wrong all along… but there is certainly some dynamic that has been triggered. by some people. And I will use it. “
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