NBA: Warriors fine Green for punching teammate, but won't suspend him
SAN FRANCISCO - Draymond Green was fined but not suspended by the Warriors for punching teammate Jordan Poole in practice, Golden State coach Steve Kerr said on Tuesday night.
The incident occurred on Oct 5 and Green apologised to Poole and the rest of the team the following day. Video of the skirmish was leaked and shown publicly on Friday, prompting Green to issue a public apology on Saturday and announce that he was stepping away from the team.
Kerr was speaking following the Warriors' 131-98 pre-season win over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Chase Centre in San Francisco. He added that Green would be back with the team on Thursday.
The veteran forward is expected to be in action during Golden State's pre-season finale against the visiting Denver Nuggets on Friday and in the season opener at home against the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct 18.
"This is the biggest crisis that we've had since I've been the coach here," Kerr, who has been in charge of the team since 2014 said.
"It's really serious stuff. We're not perfect... but we're going to lean on the experience that we have together over the last nine years and trust that this is the best decision for our team (not to suspend Green).
"We have a lot of work to do. All of us. Players, coaches, Bob (Myers, the general manager) and the front office, but we are committed to doing that work together and making this a really successful season."
Kerr added that he discussed the situation extensively with Green, Poole, Myers, Stephen Curry and "all of our players" before determining Green's sanction.
"I can tell you there have been a lot of conversations," Kerr said.
"Individual, one-on-one conversations, players-only discussions. Everything that you can think of, all the different conversations that are possible. It's been an exhaustive process.
"We feel like we have a great feel for our team. We've got a lot of continuity on our team, so Bob and I know our players extremely well. We feel like this is the best way, after assessing everything, for us to move forward.
"It's never easy, no matter what decision you make in a situation like this."
The Warriors won their fourth NBA championship in eight years last season, beating the Boston Celtics in the Finals.
Green, 32, Curry, 34 and Klay Thompson, 32, were key members of all four title teams. Poole, 23, won his first ring last season in his third NBA campaign. - REUTERS