Draymond Green has been fined but won’t be suspended after an altercation with his Golden State Warriors teammate Jordan Poole, according to head coach Steve Kerr.
Speaking to the media after the Warriors’ preseason contest against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, Kerr said that he expects Green to rejoin the team on Thursday and to play in the final preseason game on Friday and their season-opening match next week.
“We feel like this is the best way, after assessing everything, for us to move forward,” Kerr explained. “It’s never easy. No matter what decision you make in a situation like this, it’s not going to be perfect.
“This is the biggest crisis that we’ve had since I’ve been the coach here,” Kerr said.
“It’s really serious stuff. We’re not perfect … But we’re going to lean on the experience that we have together and trust that this is the best decision for our team. We have a lot of work to do. All of us.”
Green announced he was stepping away from the Warriors over the weekend after video emerged of his altercation with Poole during a team practice.
In the video, Green was seen going chest-to-chest with Poole. After Poole shoved his teammate away, Green forcefully struck the Warriors point guard. Teammates then stepped in to separate the two.
The video leaked online on Friday morning after team president Bob Myers confirmed the incident to reporters a day prior.
On Saturday, power forward Green apologized to the 23-year-old Poole and his family.
“I was wrong for my actions that took place on Wednesday. And for that I have apologized to my team, I have apologized to Jordan, and I wanted to take that a step further,” the 32-year-old said.
“With the video leaking, there is a huge embarrassment that comes with that, not only for myself as I was the one that committed the action. The embarrassment that comes for me is what it is, and that’s something that I have to deal with.”
Kerr outlined there have been discussions between “key figures” in the NBA team, including Green, Poole, Stephen Curry, Myers and the Warriors coach.
Although he said that he “trusts” Green after a long and trophy-laden eight years together, Kerr admits that Golden State’s culture has been “damaged” by the altercation.
“We take great pride in what we’ve built here – the continuity, the culture – and there’s no way around it, that culture has been damaged by this incident.
“And so you have to work to repair that. You have to find that vibe again, every day.”
Kerr added: “He broke our trust, but I am giving him the benefit of the doubt because I think he’s earned that.”
The Warriors begin the defense of the NBA Championship title on Tuesday, October 18 against the Los Angles Lakers at Chase Center in San Francisco.