No “Poole Party” For Draymond | Green Slaps The Taste Out Of Jordan Poole’s Mouth For Getting Too Cocky

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 03: Jordan Poole #3 and Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors react after Poole made a three-point basket against the Charlotte Hornets in the first half at Chase Center on November 03, 2021 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors had a little dustup at practice between veteran Draymond Green and fourth year player Jordan Poole. The altercation between the two had been allegedly boiling all training camp, as Poole is set to receive a big time contract extension. Something transpired in practice which led to Green throwing hands at Poole. The Warriors will discipline Green internally, according to general manager Bob Myers.

Miami Heat President Pat Riley won four NBA championships as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and he coined the phrase “The Disease Of Me = The Defeat Of Us” in his book “The Winner Within: A Life Plan For Team Players.” Riley was referring to the difficulty teams have in being able to repeat as champions and maintain their cohesiveness because selfishness and internal rivalries develop.

Team sports is about sacrifice in order to achieve the ultimate goal of a championship. When the Warriors won the title in June the players were obviously excited and started to think about what would be coming next. Poole in particular was hyped in the championship locker room talking about how he was going to get paid.

Poole had a breakout season averaging 18.5 points per game on 55 eFG% and 60 TS% efficiency splits. He finished the season with an EPM of +1.5, placing him in the 84th percentile. In the playoffs he saw his efficiency increase to 60 eFG% and 65 TS%.

A contract extension is certainly well deserved and earned. According to the reports, Poole has been feeling himself a bit at practice and walking around with a different kind of energy. That happens when you win a title and play a big role in winning.

As a comp, the Heat’s Tyler Herro just signed a four year $120 million extension. You can understand the excitement coming from Poole and why he would be feeling himself. But as much as the NBA is a brotherhood and teams that win titles are close, guys are competing against teammates for a finite amount of resources.

Green is in year three of a four-year, $99 million deal, and he undoubtedly feels some kind of way about Poole getting a bigger bag than he ever has, given Green’s importance to the Warriors’ championships. He is the backbone of their defense and a key organizational and distribution cog on offense.

Waiting on an extension, which would be a max, while hearing a young teammate flapping his gums and acting brand new would get a guy like Green fired up. Still, he had no business getting physical with Poole.

Riley lists six danger signals of the disease of me.

  1. Chronic feelings of under appreciation (focus on oneself)

2. Paranoia over being cheated out of one’s rightful share

3. Leadership vacuum resulting from formation of cliques and rivalries

4. Feelings of frustration even when the team performs successfully

5. Personal effort mustered solely to outshine one’s teammate

6. Resentment of the competence of another

You can see a few of these danger signals in this situation with the Warriors. But the one area where they are super strong is leadership.

Myers, head coach Steve Kerr, and team leader Stephen Curry will have the necessary conversations and work to nip this situation in the bud.