“I Think A Lot Of Our Shortcomings This Year Is My Fault” | Warriors Still Can’t Shake Draymond’s Sucker Punch Of Jordan Poole

(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

Coming off their fourth NBA championship and sixth NBA Finals appearance in eight seasons, the Golden State Warriors were expected to hit the road running.

Golden State Warriors Struggling

Entering the season with the third-best odds behind the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks to hoist another Larry O’Brien Trophy, the Warriors were the betting favorites to win the Western Conference.

Through 46 games the Warriors are a .500 team at 23-23 and have looked nothing like the team that won it all in June.

A significant portion of the team’s mental struggles can be attributed to the preseason fisticuffs between Draymond Green and rising star Jordan Poole that clearly damaged the chemistry of the team. Green essentially sucker-punched Poole during a practice and since that incident, things haven’t been the same out in the Bay.

On a recent episode of his podcast, “The Draymond Green Show,” the defensive stalwart shouldered the blame for how he has failed in his leadership role. 

“I think a lot of our shortcomings this year is my fault. … I have not been the leader that I am and that I need to be for this team,” Green said.

“The reason that I have not been that leader is also my fault,” he continued. “We all know with the young Wolverine brother JP. … I’ve kind of had to walk a fine line of not being Draymond. When I’m not really being myself that’s not the best thing for this team. Where we have struggled is accountability … on the defensive end … on the offensive end. That’s my role on this team, and I fell short in that area.”

What Green is saying is true, and it’s reared its ugly head in the weirdest of ways.

The Warriors are 17-5 at home and a surprising 6-18 on the road.  That’s a direct result of lack of defensive intensity and force away from the friendly confines of their home arena Chase Center.

Why Did Green Punch Poole?

To this day, Green punching Poole in the face in practice and watching him fold like a chair after church is still a bit of an enigma. Why did he do it? Is it because he knew the franchise was prioritizing the young bucket-getter over him as it pertains to contracts being given?

The next week Golden State brass signed Poole to a four-year, $123 million extension.


But Green says that particular day he was dealing with something “heavy” in his life.

“There are times where you enter the basketball gym and it’s a sanctuary for a lot of us. You walk on the court and you lose yourself in the game, you lose yourself and for that hour, hour and a half you lose yourself in the game. And there are times on the court where it just don’t do that. That day, that week, I was dealing with something in my life so heavy. I don’t wanna share exactly what that is, but that day I wasn’t able to lose myself in that practice. And so because I was not able to lose myself in that practice, everything that was going on in camp, I’m already on ten.”

That incident has definitely been something to consider when you look at the Warriors’ struggles away from home and uncharacteristic losses suffered to the Pistons and Magic, two teams rebuilding.

Warriors Need The Old Draymond

With the NBA regular season a little more than halfway complete, it’s time for the Warriors to get themselves going. The inconsistency won’t carry them very far. 

That starts and ends with Green, who’s the unquestioned catalyst of the team. When he’s playing on tilt the Warriors are a different animal, and he’s one of the smartest defensive players of the modern era.