I’ve been writing a lot lately about sports fans and the kinds of jobs they must have, given their tendency toward forgiveness of athletes who get off light for things that’d definitely get you shitcanned from your job.
Add Draymond Green as the latest example. Green last week socked—sucker punched depending on your perspective—Golden State Warriors teammate Jordan Poole at practice last week. Poole, who didn’t see the punch coming, folded to the floor. Video of the practice leaked, and the Warriors announced before they took any disciplinary action against Green that they were investigating how the video went public. Yesterday, Dubs head coach Steve Kerr announced that Green was fined an undisclosed amount, but won’t be suspended for the punch.
I know, right now somebody’s Twitter fingers are ready to jump in the comments to explain how you gotta understand that teammates fight and that on that basis it’s not a big deal. Somebody’s bound to point out how Kerr, who was once punched in the face by Michael Jordan when they both played for the Chicago Bulls, said in 2020 that that fight made them better teammates. To all of you, I say, cut the shit.
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Green, as integral as he was to the Warriors’ four championships, is no Michael Jordan. In fact he’s had so many lapses in his career—including being actually suspended for calling former teammate Kevin Durant a “bitch” on the court, and his fine for kicking Steven Adams in the nuts during the 2016 playoffs—that at this point its both easy and fair to question his leadership on those championship teams. Michael Jordan was a lot of things—hypercompetitive, a gambler, belittling and occasionally violent with his teammates—but one thing he never did was risk disciplinary action during a playoff run.
Meanwhile, Poole is a lot more likely a leader of Golden State’s future than Green is. Both are eligible for contract extensions after this season, but Poole, who was fantastic in last season’s championship run, is younger and with a lot more room to develop. We already know what Green’s ceiling is.
But mostly, I just wanted to remind everyone who threw on a cape for Green in the last 24 hours that fam, this ain’t you. No matter how much you remember your glory days, what’s happening at Golden State’s practices is not the same as what went down between you and the high school teammate you didn’t like. Y’all weren’t playing for big money. Y’all didn’t have any.
It would not work out well for you if you went to work and punched your coworker. It’s a weird flex to imagine that you could and to defend an athlete for doing so because you imagine there’s an unwritten workplace rule in professional sports that says its OK. Green may be getting off without a suspension, but there’s a good shot that expedited his way out of Golden State because of it.
Don’t be that guy defending this foolishness, fam. It’s a bad look.