By Shayna Rubin
Players often dress up for ring night, but no one on the Warriors did it quite like Draymond Green on Tuesday. Green rolled into Chase Center in a shimmery Kelly green suit with some words for the NBA cameras following him into the arena.
“Looking like money, you know what I’m talking about,” Green said. “By the way, welcome back to the Warriors Invitational. We back, baby.”
Green isn’t one to ignore the elephant in the room, so the green suit and money talk seemed to be pointed comments about his contract situation.
Somewhat surprisingly, Green is also twisting the Jordan Poole punch and video leak his teammates are trying to squash into more of a media spectacle. In the minutes before the Warriors’ championship ring ceremony and season-opening win over the Lakers, TNT dropped a mini-documentary featuring Green’s reflections about his altercation with Poole.
TNT advertised the video as the premiere of a miniseries called “The Countdown” featuring Green. Green gave TNT behind-the-scenes access during the days he was sent away from the team after footage of him punching Poole in practice on Oct. 5 went viral. Green spoke directly to the camera about what it was like for him to see his “worst moment” spread across the globe.
“You give it some time for people to throw their opinion up, which, quite frankly, I don’t care about people’s opinion,” Green said in the video. “And, to be totally honest with you, I never really knew how much it blew up because I don’t spend much time searching Instagram or looking through comments. I don’t read many tweets at all, so I was just home chilling with my children. If you want me to be honest with you, I still don’t know how much the world thinks it blew up.”
Poole has avoided commenting directly about the punch. What is clear is that Green is trying to use the negative as a springboard into a positive. He was all smiles on ring night.
Green chatted up LeBron James, a fellow Klutch Sports client, during gameplay and talked with fans sitting courtside while on the bench. During the second quarter, Poole dished a dime to Green on a pick-and-roll play.
Green has always played with a chip on his shoulder — being perpetually underestimated fuels his fire, and that fire makes him an elite competitor. But that fire has gotten out of hand, at times. Though Green has been apologetic in the punch aftermath, it seems he’s happy to turn unprecedented negative press into an even bigger chip on his shoulder.
“I was told the world has been able to see one of your worst moments,” Green said in the documentary. “Look at all the upside you have now. It’s a totally different way at looking at it. I can live with that.”
Last winter, Green signed a deal with Turner Sports to be a part-time contributor to the broadcaster’s NBA coverage as an active player. Green appeared on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” as a guest panelist multiple times since 2020.
The Warriors allowed Green back from his hiatus after he apologized to Poole and the team. He was fined, but not suspended. While his teammates spoke about a broken trust in need of mending, Green has said that trust was the “wrong word” to use, saying “camaraderie” needed to be re-established, and expressed excitement to prove doubters wrong this season.
After Tuesday’s win, Klay Thompson addressed the Green incident with the “Inside” crew — Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith.
“Dray had to get our trust back, and he was very willing to do so,” Thompson said. “I mean, without Draymond, we’re not the Warriors, and without JP we’re not the Warriors. JP’s our future. Dray’s a legend, going to have a statue outside one day.”
Thompson said the team would “move past it” because they “know how hard an encore (title) is, and we know we can do it.” He also offered some perspective.
“Brothers fight,” Thompson said. “We spend more time with each other than our families, which is just a reality, and we butt heads sometimes.”
There are a handful of episodes left in this series that could be illuminating.
Source: Paradise Post