For two teams coming off of appearances in the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors have had a rocky start to the preseason. The regular season is still a week away, but both squads are dealing with some major internal issues.
Boston is navigating multiple injuries in their frontcourt and a year-long suspension to head coach Ime Udoka, while the Warriors are dealing with the remnants of an altercation between Draymond Green and Jordan Poole and the video being leaked to the public. Needless to say, both sides are in a bit of a pickle.
In the video, Green and Poole were seen going chest-to-chest before the young guard pushed the veteran away. Green followed that up by punching Poole in the chin, knocking him to the ground. But despite the outpouring of concern from the public after the video leaked, Celtics point guard Marcus Smart likened the incident to a family disagreement.
“It happens. Just like with your brother or your sister. You love them, you like them, you don’t wish nothing bad on them. But a couple of times here and there, you’re going to put your hands on them, and couple of times y’all do. So, it happens.”
Similar to Green, Smart is known for his intensity and willingness to go to war for his team. And he’s had his own history of scuffles with teammates. Back in The Bubble, Smart and Jaylen Brown reportedly got into a heated confrontation after Boston’s Game 2 loss to the Miami Heat in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. The two had to be separated by teammates.
The big difference between the two incidents? One video leaked, the other did not.
No one will ever know the specifics of the incident between Smart and Brown, but that’s not the case with the Green and Poole situation. Now, the Warriors have to deal with the public ramifications of the video being leaked and everyone knowing exactly what Green did behind closed doors.
“Obviously, you wish it didn’t come out like it did. I think that’s something that the Warriors should have kept in-house. It should have been with them. And they should have handled it between them.”
TMZ Sports got its hands on the video and released it to the public on Friday. Golden State has since launched an investigation into how the video got out, but no update has been provided on that yet.
Green and the city of Boston don’t exactly get along, but Smart had kind things to say about the Warriors star as a player and a person. At the same time, however, he noted that Green’s mistake is not what a team needs from its leader.
“I don’t know much about the situation, but from what I’m hearing and seeing, I know Draymond, as good as he is as a player and as a person, he made a mistake. I think we can all say that from what we know. As a leader, you can’t do that, especially with guys looking up to you and looking to you for advice and encouragement.”
The Warriors superstar apologized to Poole, his family, and the team on Saturday, stating that he plans on taking a few days away from the team to recalibrate. No suspension has been announced for him, however.
Green also mentioned that the reason behind the punch had nothing to do with contracts, which had been previously speculated. Instead, he said that he was dealing with some personal issues off the court, and the tension carried over into practice as he let his emotions get the best of him.
According to Smart, that sort of behavior is unacceptable.
“Professionals. We’re all professionals. At the end of the day, we all have a job to do. And that’s in between these lines. So, whatever you’ve got personal-wise, you handle it outside of your job, outside of work. When you come in here in this gym, and you step in between these lines, family and everything else goes out the window until you step off this court. And that’s how it should be, and I think that’s how you should handle it.”
Golden State opens its season on October 19 against the Los Angeles Lakers. Green said that he expects to play but will await the decision of the team.