The Golden State Warriors began the 2022-23 season with hopes of defending their NBA title. But a feud between Draymond Green and Jordan Poole brought the team unwanted attention.
The Warriors never seemed to shake the impact of Green’s now infamous punch to Poole. Although the team had a relatively successful season, it did not regain its championship form.
The Warriors traded Poole to the Washington Wizards during the offseason and hope to replace his on-court production with veteran guard Chris Paul.
Many laid the blame for the Warriors’ struggles at Poole’s feet, but head coach Steve Kerr isn’t blaming Poole.
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“First of all, I think it’s unfair for people to just point to Jordan [Poole]” Kerr told Bay Area sports radio station 95.7 The Game. “It’s wrong … Jordan was fantastic while he was here. He helped us win a championship. I hate receiving any criticism. Last year went wrong for various reasons and we all share the responsibility for that.”
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Green recently shared his thoughts on what went wrong last season, saying a lack of overall team chemistry contributed to the disappointing results.
“Last year, we had an awful team in terms of chemistry — pathetic,” Green said Thursday. “You look at last year and you’re like, ‘Oh man, this team hasn’t lost a Western Conference series under Steve Kerr.’ And then it happens. The big reason why our chemistry sucks.”
Although it’s only a small sample size, the Warriors don’t seem to have any chemistry-related issues this year. The team started 5-1.
Paul is averaging just under 30 minutes per game, while superstar guard Steph Curry is having another productive offensive season averaging 30.8 points per game.
Poole won an NBA title during his time in Golden State and occasionally carried the team during the 2022 championship run.
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Poole addressed the incident with Green after the season.
“I don’t talk about it a lot. But I will say … you have to have a different level of maturity. We had a season to play.” Poole told ESPN in May. “You’re going to have to play with those people in the locker room and that’s why I said maturity is a big thing.”