Draymond Green says he created 'dark cloud' hanging over ring ceremony


SAN FRANCISCO — Oct. 18 was supposed to be an opening night of revelry at Chase Center.

A chance for the reigning champion Golden State Warriors to relive their 2022 title run with Dub Nation on their home floor. A chance to get rings while LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have to patiently wait in the locker room.

With a swift punch to Jordan Poole in Wednesday’s practice, Draymond Green has cast a pall on opening night. And he knows it.

“His family saw that video, his mother, his father saw that video,” Green said. “Frankly, if my mother saw that video, I know how she would feel. I know what her reaction would be and I know what her next step would be. For that I apologize to his mother, his father, his family, his friends that care for him. That’s a sense of embarrassment that they have to deal with too.

“In 10 days, there will be a ring ceremony. My family will be here and his family will be here. I’m sure they’ll be here. Quite frankly, that’s an elephant in the room. That’s something, it’s weird. On a night that should be celebration and love – and it still will be – but there is a dark cloud in the room and I caused that. I apologize to his family and all they’ve had to deal with over the course of the past 24, 48 hours.”

If you scroll through photos of the 2022 title celebration, you'll see Draymond and Poole celebrating next to each other on the podium, with Green holding his young daughter. A lot has changed since then.

It sounds like Draymond and his family are expecting to take part in the ring ceremony. It’ll be his fourth and Poole’s first.

Whether Draymond will be suited up for the Warriors in a jersey that night remains to be seen. Green and the Warriors made the “mutual decision” for him to take an indefinite leave of absence from the team. But opening night is just 10 days away.

“I expect to play,” Green said. “Now, will I play? That’s a completely different story. That’s something that we will continue to figure out as we move forward and just feel through what’s right.”

The next phase of this process will be to hear from Poole. Then Draymond will come back to the team facility and have to rebuild the trust of his teammates. To say nothing of the conditioning, scrimmages and pregame reps that could affect his physical game to start the season. The organization will have to settle its sense of trust internally after the video leak Friday morning. The season opener is just game No. 1 of 82.

There’s a big mess to clean up.

At this point, hoops seem secondary. But the Warriors are a basketball team after all, and they’ll host the Lakers Sunday night in what could be a weird atmosphere for a preseason game.

One thing’s for sure, Jordan Poole should get a massive ovation if he’s announced to the crowd, while Draymond is at home watching from the couch.

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