SAN FRANCISCO — The Warriors walloped the Portland Trail Blazers 131-98 Tuesday night in a preseason matchup, but that was hardly the biggest news of the evening. After the game, coach Steve Kerr announced that veteran Draymond Green will be fined an undisclosed amount but rejoin the team for Thursday’s practice.
Kerr added that the team hopes Green can play in Friday’s preseason finale and that he should be available for Tuesday’s regular season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"He broke our trust with this incident,” Kerr said. “But I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt, because he’s earned that. I think our team feels the same way."
After punching Jordan Poole in a practice altercation, Green had been taking a leave of absence since last Wednesday after a “mutual decision” with the team to give Poole and his teammates space.
Kerr said that Poole and Green have hashed things out within the past couple days.
"Jordan and Draymond got together and had a great discussion that I think will help us move forward,” Kerr said.
The Warriors also bounced the conversation around with their veteran-laden locker room, as players like Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney each had a say in the matter.
Looney, in particular, has impressed Kerr with his leadership.
“Loon is incredible,” Kerr said. “This guy has so much wisdom. He’s quiet. If you don’t pay attention, you may not realize that he has become the moral compass of our team. He’s a special human being. Special. He was a key instrument in everything that we’ve done the last week to try and get things back on track. I’ll ride with Loon forever. That’s a special man.”
Kerr added that the 23-year-old Poole has been remarkable throughout the whole process.
“My observation of Jordan is that he’s an incredibly mature young guy,” Kerr said. “We know that he’s willing to move forward, he’s willing basically to get back on the floor with Draymond and go to work.”
While Green has missed out on about six days worth of practices and two preseason games during his leave from the team, Kerr said Draymond has been working out individually at the Warriors facility after the team is done for the day.
Conditioning is one thing, but so are the emotions involved. Green also acknowledged that he had created a “dark cloud” hanging above the team heading into the ring ceremony on opening night.
“My family will be here and his family will be here,” Green said last week. “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.”
Back in November 2018, Green was suspended a game without pay after exploding at Kevin Durant in the Warriors locker room, but Kerr said they handle the discipline on a case-by-case basis. Kerr said the investigation into who leaked the video is still ongoing but that the team won’t announce the findings publicly.
"This is the biggest crisis we've ever had since I've been coach here," Kerr said. "We trust that this is the best decision for our team."