I think we’ve all seen the video of Draymond Green punching Jordan Poole, and it isn’t pretty. If you for haven’t seen it, here’s a link. This leaked video is one of the two things the NBA community has been discussing over the last two days; that and how much everyone loves our favorite 7’4″ French prospect, Victor Wembanyama. I’ll write about him later, but right now I want to dive into this situation.
First of all, this video should have never been leaked. I can’t blame TMZ for trying to get their hands on this; they knew how quickly it’d blow up. However, I can blame whoever in the Golden State Warriors organization leaked the video. While original speculation said the video cost TMZ $120,000, Front Office Sports reported that the video cost $10,000, if not less.
My question is, why would someone leak the video? It all depends on who obviously, and the Golden State Warriors are launching an internal investigation to find out. The most likely answer seems to be that someone on the video crew leaked it, as that video is official practice footage. While the video guys don’t get paid a ton of money, most of them aren’t in it for the money; they’re in it for the chance to get promoted. Many people have worked their way through the NBA ranks by starting as a video intern, and then grinding to the top.
Once the Warriors figure out who leaked this video, it’s clear they’re going to be fired. Losing your job over $10,000 doesn’t seem like a smart move. Forget just the Warriors though; no NBA team is ever going to hire this person. Overall, not a smart decision.
But, the video is here to stay. So, let’s dissect this moment. From what I understand, Poole was making jokes about how he was due for a lucrative contract extension, and Green wasn’t having any of it. Poole thought when Green approached him that it was going to be a shoving match, but Green decided to punch Poole after he couldn’t handle any more “Poole party” jokes.
While Green is clearly in the wrong here, Poole shouldn’t have been bragging about a contract extension that he hasn’t even signed yet. He also shouldn’t have shoved Green, but hindsight is 20/20. The actual punch seemed deadly, and when I first saw it, it reminded me of when Rudy Tomjanovich got punched so hard that it almost ended his NBA career. I’m glad Poole wasn’t seriously hurt.
What does this punch mean for the Warriors?
To me, it represents how the older members of the Warriors core (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Green, Andre Iguodala, Kevon Looney) are starting to get older, while the younger guys are getting ready to take over the franchise. In theory, it’s a great plan that leaves the organization with no down time and keeps them always contending for a championship. However, there’s always some tension as young guys want the spotlight too soon and older guys don’t want to give it up.
I forgot who gave this scenario (it may have been from the first Boss Baby movie), but I find it very applicable here. Pretend you have an older dog. You’ve been with this dog for 15 years, and experienced the highs and lows. However, you can tell the dog won’t be around for much longer, and frankly, given how much work it is to keep up with him, you’re not stressing the moment he leaves.
Now, a family member surprises you with a young puppy for a special occasion. The young puppy has so much energy, it’s contagious. You can play fetch and show him the world, and you really love him. Naturally, you’re going to love the newer, younger puppy then the old dog, even though you’ve built more memories with the old dog.
In this scenario, the old dog is Draymond, and Poole is the young puppy coming in. Green means a lot to the Warriors’ organization, but his attitude, his biggest strength, can also be his biggest weakness. It may have cost the Warriors a championship in 2019, and it certainly did in 2016, thanks to Green’s suspension in the NBA Finals.
Team owner Joe Lacob has made it clear that the Warriors, rich as they may be, can’t afford to pay everyone. Poole is getting that extension, Andrew Wiggins is also going to get paid, and the team will have to contend with how to pay Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and Patrick Baldwin within a few years.
If you were the Warriors and couldn’t afford to pay everyone, would you rather lose two young All-Star level players, or an out of his prime, hostile 32 year old? I’d get rid of the 32 year old and pay the young guys. It’s not what Green deserves, but the NBA is a cutthroat business, and the players know this.
By not paying Green, the Warriors will need to find some rim insurance, so it’s likely Green could leave in a trade. Where he goes is anyone’s guess, but I truly don’t think Green will be on the Warriors’ roster in three seasons. Green has made about $155 million in NBA contracts in his entire career, while Poole may make $120 million over just his next four years. New players that were just drafted, such as Paolo Banchero, have the chance to make $1 billion just in NBA contracts. Green will or already feels disrespected and insecure about the amount of money he has versus what the young guys are making, and I don’t blame him. If I signed smaller deals to help my team, and then young guys came in and started taking all the salary cap, I’d be pissed. I don’t know if I’d punch them over it, but it would lead to an unhappy locker room.
Will this moment affect the Warriors’ title run for this year? Absolutely not. It’s not large enough to prevent an all-time dynasty from winning another chip. However, could this be a roadblock in the years ahead, that ensures Green ends his NBA career on a different NBA team? Possibly. Green and Kevin Durant‘s argument in 2019 led to Durant’s departure from Golden State, and this fight could lead to Green’s.
What do you think of the fight? Let me know in the comments below, don’t forget to follow the NBA Blog, and as always, have an awesome day!