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Video Escalated Draymond Green-Jordan Poole Fight to Explosive Story

This was ugly. If this had happened in public, Green would likely face aggravated assault charges.

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The video changed everything.

A report from The Athletic on Wednesday that Golden State Warriors teammates Draymond Green and Jordan Poole had a “physical altercation” during practice raised attention. Scuffles between teammates are nothing new in sports. Also, considering how disruptive and antagonistic Green has been during his NBA career with opponents, it wasn’t difficult to imagine that he’d cause some irritation among his colleagues.

However, the report from Shams Charania and Anthony Slater made it clear that this was no typical practice spat with tempers flaring. Warriors management was considering disciplinary action against Green for what happened, indicating this was a serious matter.

Discord among the Warriors was potentially juicy news. Golden State is returning from a championship season, their fourth NBA title in the past eight years. And the team is the betting favorite to emerge from the Western Conference again with a chance to repeat as champions.

However, if there’s dissension among the roster which could possibly derail another Warriors championship run, that will be a season-long storyline to follow. Is there a schism between the veterans who established Golden State’s championship dynasty and the younger players who could continue that success? Is Green going to be problematic as long as management doesn’t sign him to a new contract?

With only reports and second-hand accounts of the altercation between Green and Poole, any rumblings attempting to explain what happened — or what might happen next — could be chalked up to innuendo and speculation. A lack of substantive information could even feed conspiracy theories for those who believed that the Warriors put this out there to avoid giving Green a new contract.

But then TMZ acquired video footage of the practice fight and released it to the public.

This was not two guys asking each other “¿Quién es más macho?” This was not boys being boys. This was not roughhousing after tempers flared. This was ugly; a direct punch to Poole’s jaw, not an open-hand slap. If this had happened in public, Green would likely face aggravated assault charges.

And with that video, reporting and analysis of the story drastically changed.

Reacting in The Athletic, longtime Warriors beat writer and columnist Marcus Thompson II laid out all the ways in which this could be destructive to the team. Most players, coaches, and officials didn’t see the punch when it happened. They saw it the same way we did. Green is supposed to protect players like Poole from opponents, not violently attack him. How could this not be viewed as a betrayal of trust?

Having covered Green for his entire career with Golden State, Thompson surmised that the 10-year veteran must be dealing with something off the court that would lead to such an outburst. Is it indeed his contract situation? Was a sensitive situation for Green inflamed by Poole, as reported by Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes?

Green is going into his 11th season and possibly the final year of his contract. (He has a player option for the 2023-24 season, but could opt out if he’s seeking a maximum contract extension.)

Meanwhile, Poole is a rising star for the Warriors, breaking out in his third season to become a feared scoring threat alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. (Poole effectively filled in for Thompson, who was limited to 32 regular-season games while recovering from an Achilles tendon injury.) With his contract set to expire after the season, Golden State is reportedly ready to offer Poole an extension.

Yet even before the video came out, Curry, head coach Steve Kerr, and general manager Bob Myers disputed that Poole had been showing more attitude with his pending contract extension. Were they trying to stop a potential story before it could grow? Or was the team’s leadership attempting to establish what the video appeared to show, that this was all on Green and he presented a major threat to club harmony?

Without the video, fans and media might have attempted to interpret tension between Green and Poole (and other teammates). If Green seemed off his game, most would likely point to his his contract situation. If the Warriors begin the season with a shaky start, team chemistry would have been questioned. All of that would have been typical for following a team through an 82-game season.

But now we have the visual of Green punching Poole in the jaw. Can the Warriors get past that? How many workplaces would be able to, even if sports don’t often seem like real life to fans? Those questions will surely be asked as Green takes time away from the team.

Another storyline that has developed in light of the video going public is how it leaked to TMZ? Who did it? Was it someone associated with the team? Or close to Poole? That would create another wave of conspiracy theorizing about management trying to get rid of Green and more potential issues.

If Green plays this season for Golden State, will opposing players attempt to antagonize him, hoping to elicit the kind of reaction that could disrupt his game, or get him ejected and suspended? And if Green’s behavior continues to be explosive, how could that affect a future contract with any other NBA team? Or, as Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN’s First Take, will Green be on his best behavior from here on out because he can’t afford not to be?

With a long regular season and TV, radio, and podcasts covering the increasingly popular NBA, the Green-Poole fight would have created plenty of content, especially in the early months of the campaign. If this confrontation had only been seen by a few, if it had been kept in-house, the story might have even fizzled out.

But the video changed everything. The footage might have created too explosive a situation to be covered up and forgotten. And the 2022-23 NBA season could be affected as a result.

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BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

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On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

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Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

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