Draymond Green's career has reached another crossroads.Trash talk between Green and teammate Jordan Poole escalated at Golden State Warriors practice on Wednesday. Green punched Poole after a shove, changing a regular incident into one that has the ability to divide any team, even one coming off an NBA title.


The cause for the altercation is yet unknown. Green and Poole are both eligible for contract extensions, but Warriors general manager Bob Myers and superstar Stephen Curry both indicated Thursday that's not why things became so heated.

"I don't think this has anything to do with who gets paid and who doesn't," Myers added.

The truth of what happened is unlikely to be revealed unless Green speaks up on his podcast or Poole is interviewed.

But one thing is certain: the Warriors will now have to pick up the pieces, like they did with Green. After all, playing with Green is like playing with fire.

Since being picked as the 35th overall choice in the 2012 draft, he has frequently been the team's pulse, guiding them win four titles. He's their defensive genius, astute passer, ferocious rebounder, and energy provider. The Warriors are at their best when the four-time All-intensity Star's is turned up. He is their physical igniter.

"We don't win without him," Myers added.

However, there is another side to that coin.

Green's emotional outbursts can be exaggerated. He struck LeBron James in the groin in Game 4 of the 2016 NBA Finals, resulting in a ban for Game 5. (The Warriors ended up squandering a 3-1 lead and losing the series in seven games to Cleveland.) He routinely ranks first in the league in technical fouls. He loses his grip.

Even within his own squad, he has been known to smudge the line with his sneaker, blurring the line between being a contender and a liability.

Green and Warriors coach Steve Kerr nearly collided in 2016 after a heated discussion. Green also notoriously ordered Kevin Durant to leave the Warriors during an in-game altercation during the 2018-19 season.

These sorts of explosions usually have one of two outcomes: they either bring catharsis or they leave deep scars.

What was the outcome of Green and Kerr's conversation? They grew closer. Green and Durant, on the other hand, are a different story. Things between the two stars remained strained throughout the season, and Durant finally left for Brooklyn that summer.

It's too soon to predict what will happen with Wednesday's event.

According to the GM, Green attempted to put things right by apologizing in front of the players, coaching staff, and Myers. He subsequently departed Chase Center without attending Thursday's practice as part of his punishment, the details of which the team has opted to keep private. (He is unlikely to miss any games.)

Myers stated that Poole is "fine" and that he participated in Thursday's practice.

However, the mental trauma caused by these sorts of occurrences frequently takes longer to recover than any physical impairment. The Warriors will need to find a way to move ahead.

Fortunately for the squad, Curry is an expert at damage management. "You ready to do some leading?" Myers joked when he arrived at Chase Center on Thursday.

Curry said, "You guys need to pay me some more money."

The discussion was playful, but make no mistake: Curry's $215 million deal extension is based on far more than his smooth shooting.

When Green and Durant fell out three years ago, Curry went to Green's house to have a candid conversation with him. (In an exclusive interview last season, Green told FOX Sports that he admired Curry's compassion and candor.)

Following the events of Wednesday, Curry stated that he will approach things similarly with Green this time.

"Be truthful with him," Curry said. "He values my viewpoint. He understands how I feel, and we've discussed it. So, be honest with him about your unhappiness with the circumstance."

Nobody who spoke on Thursday, including Curry, Myers, and Kerr, made excuses for Green. They clearly thought his acts were unacceptable.

In reality, both Kerr and Curry flatly disputed reports of animosity between Green and Poole, claiming that Poole's attitude had shifted as a result of his approaching contract deal.

"There is nothing farther from the truth," Kerr added.

Curry added: "It's just nonsense. JP has been fantastic. Nothing justifies the incident [on Wednesday]. Make that very apparent."

Green, on the other hand, will have to find out how to get himself out of this hole. 

He certainly went too far, placing his club in an awkward situation before the season even started. He put a wrench into the well-oiled mechanism of a championship enterprise. Trust must be reestablished, especially among the team's youthful future core, who aren't used to such outbursts.

"I don't think he enjoys putting himself in these situations," Myers explained. "He's in one of them. And I think he'll find a way to win the respect of his teammates and Jordan back."

Perhaps this will pass. It might all be one big forgivable mistake, chalked up to nothing more than a pressure-cooker building up too much steam.

Or, as we saw with Green and Durant in 2019, it may have residual ramifications and become a boiling stew of unresolved resentment.

Time will only tell.

Green's enthusiasm is probably what distinguishes him as one of the greatest at what he does.

But every now and again, he becomes his own tripwire, detonating everything around him.

It's now up to Green to pick up the pieces once more.

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