Dub Nation HQ Comments of Week, plus open thread
it seemed to be smooth sailing until the Draymond punch
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Turning point for the team
Asher B. (25 ♡):
Speaking as a psychotherapist, a word or two about anger management classes or more broadly of therapy. In general, sports discussion of the use of therapy tends to focus on very narrow and focused uses like "get my head back in the game" or "learn skills to focus better." I don't work that way, although some sports psychologists do. I'm there to treat the whole person. There's an initial angle, called the "presenting problem," such as anger, but we follow the breadcrumbs where the trail leads. The thing about a person such as Draymond going to anger management therapy at least with me that seems not likely to work given present information is 1. *Therapy has to be at the full volition of the client.* Being assigned classes but not believing in the work seems to me likely to be fruitless. 2. *Useful therapy is going to kick your ass about your whole life, not one isolated behavior*. I've not heard any of this motivation from Draymond. If he's not signed up to talk about his mother, his father, his dog, and whatever else comes up, it's not likely to lead to success. Again, that's how I work, not how everyone works. Which is all to say that both in Draymond's case and in most other NBA discussions of mental health, I see shortcut discussions that imply six weeks with this expert and you'll solve the problem. I call bullshit. Notable exceptions such as Kevin Love and Metta World Peace counter a narrative that appears to treat mental health treatment as either for weaklings or a little tuneup. Anyone who has ever really done mental health self-work knows change is fucking hard work and digs up a lot we'd rather ignore, and is based on the belief that I gotta look at all my shit, not just one obvious problem.
E2148 (17 ♡):
> I’m not going to write something long or deep about this. You can all see the video for yourselves.
*proceeds to write something long and deep*
Honestly Eric I’m glad you did. This has ramifications for so many parties involved, not just Dray, JP and the Warriors.
Sleepy Freud (15 ♡):
Who knows what the next few weeks will look like, but this is starting to feel less like something that’s gonna blow over and more like something that’s starting to snowball. A searing image like that TMZ clip has a way of galvanizing public sentiment. (OT, but I always felt that 9-11 might not have put us on the same inexorable path to a 20-year war if instead of the horrific, traumatizing images of the towers falling, with victims leaping from windows, we had had 3,000 separate unflimed incidents of, say, people dying from anthrax-laced letters).
Personally … I’m finding myself in the “just get Dray gone” camp right now, but it’s hard to parse out how much of that is me still feeling shocked and upset by the vid, and how much of it is me thinking it might be a convenient way to keep Poole and Wiggs while freeing up more minutes for JK, JW, MM, and/or PBJ.
It’s also hard for me to know how I’ll feel about this in a week or a month or a year. I’ve had love-hate-love-hate-love-hate feelings for Dray for a looooong time now.
vignette17 (15 ♡):
Anybody complaining about the leak, first and foremost, rather than the content is missing the forest for the trees. It's an action from the same culture that punishes whistleblowers and encourages bad behavior to propagate behind closed doors and it fosters bad culture regardless of industry.
If your behavior is so bad that a video of you can torpedo your livelihood/team/etc, maybe you're doing something you shouldn't. And this isn't some nuanced incident where two sides of the story need to be told. An older, bigger dude punched a smaller, younger guy after initiating a physical confrontation.
The Warriors have to navigate an extremely tough situation now. And, to be honest, I'm not sure there is a path that leads to all sides being happy and another chip. That might just be gone now. I don't know JP well enough to say whether this incident can be forgiven. It might be pushed to the side for a season as a best case scenario.
But today is the first time where I have seriously considered breaking up the big 3 for the Dubs. And if I were to think solely with the analytical part of my basketball brain, letting go of Dray might be the end of championship contention. But I have a simple rule: I don't like to root for assholes. And Dray has skirted that line for a long-time. And he might just have passed it.
Nellie (13 ♡):
While I claim no personal insight into the dynamics of this or any other professional sports team, here are two things from yesterday's pressers that I found notable, and that I don't think I've seen mentioned. For what little it's worth:
First, I thought Curry looked furious. Controlled, determined, engaged as a leader? Absolutely. Concerned first and foremost with the wellbeing of all involved? Sure. But furious. Feels to me like he's entered the stage of his career where he will brook absolutely no distraction from the pursuit of another title, even from Draymond. And he has no fear of making that known.
Second, it was significant to me that both he and Kerr stressed how great the day's scrimmage was, and how good the team looked, on the day when they were *without* Dray. Obviously that was a (somewhat feeble) attempt to redirect focus toward on-court stuff, but I thought it also ratified the other message: that this group is on a mission, and distraction will not be tolerated from anyone.
Mostly, I've been in the camp that's just sad about all this, but if I've read that last piece correctly, maybe it offers a glimmer of optimism? Maybe we'll look back at that presser as the moment Steph put an end to the uneasy inner-circle/outer-circle team structure—where he announced a merging of the "two timelines."
(To that end, the thing I'd most like to see is an extension for Jordan this week. Pretty much whatever it costs. If this was, in part, about Draymond putting JP in his place, then the organization should send an unmistakable message that his "place" is at the very center of its present and future plans.)
Eric Apricot (13 ♡):
I have the feeling there will be echoes from this event in the team for a while. I am guessing not all the players (and maybe even not all of management) saw the video before today and even those who were there probably didn’t get a good view of it to see how serious it was. Everyone’s feelings could be very different today than they were yesterday…
GlueAndBold (13 ♡):
I think the level of emotional intelligence needed by the organization right now is really, really high, and I hope they are up to the task 🙏🏼
Night Night (13 ♡):
Listen, getting in fistfights in the Black community is relatively normalized (for reasons too complex and nuanced for most white folks outside the community to understand).
But this isn't that. Draymond sucker-punched Poole. Jordan wasn't expecting a fight while at work.
And this isn't the playground or the streets - this is a workplace environment. The NBA environment is absolutely NOT a place for physical altercations. The physically intensive style of play in the NBA is not an analog for assault.
WGBC (12 ♡):
I got the audio working on the punch, it's hard to hear every word....
Poole: Have you been reading DNHQ?
Green: Every night.
Poole: You see where SleepyFreud rated you for most important non-curry warriors next 3 years?
Green: Those blogs know what's up, they always rank me #2 behind Steph.
Poole: Sleepy put me #2, Wiggins #3, Klay #4 and... (Punch)
Alas Phood Fight (12 ♡):
I'm not defending Draymond. I love him, but he F'ed up. I'm a restaurant guy, we use knives and fire. We use knives and fire to make great food. Knives and fire are dangerous and sometimes we got cut, sometimes we got burned. Sometimes we even had to go to the emergency room. But it is the risk we always take to produce the product we produce, knowing full well we are one thoughtless moment away from a cab ride to Urgent Care.
My point being, we have all held Draymond up for having fire, for playing on the edge of a knife. He has been celebrated for it. We have cheered for him to walk that fine line between victory and danger. So when our soldier cuts himself, when he burns himself badly, do cheers suddenly turn to boos? He F'ed up. Maybe its time we just get someone to cover his shift for a while, and someone drive him down to Urgent Care and help patch him up. We can't cheer for someone to always play on the edge and then destroy him when he gets cut. As a fan, he is in our employ. We need to provide him the opportunity and resources to change. The rest is up to him.
But what cannot happen, is this guy comes back and we say, "Well, we don't want you working with a knife or by the stove anymore." Draymond, if and when he comes back, has to be a better 'not punching teammates' kind of Draymond, but still Draymond. It's no easy task, but the knife will need to be sharpened again, the stove tops turned up to max heat, and the player that is Draymond Green will have to cook again. But the hope is that it becomes a wiser Draymond, a more personally humbled Draymond that realizes that his knife skills are that ... skills. And that he doesn't need to overheat his kettle to wield them.
BornInDaEB (12 ♡):
I am, obviously, a huge Dray fan and the Jordan/Kerr punch is an apt comparison...but there's no film. Caught on camera--for better or worse--always adds a heightened dimension. And one where the court of public opinion weighs more heavily.
I'm glad the team is dealing with this and, of course, taking it seriously. As Curry and other pro athletes have been known to say, "Metal Sharpens Metal." As old heads love to point out, this shit used to happen, during games, on the court...albeit against an opposing team.
My deep down, truest "feel" or "take" when I see this is that Dray NEVER takes shit off ANYONE, much less a 23yo pretty boy like JP. I like JP but I could see how his hubris could get on one's last nerve. "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent" (Isaac Asimov), though, so you never want to see someone you've stanned for years cross that line.
Curry is still my favorite pro bball player and will probably remain so until I die. But I feel Draymond is the necessary yang to SC30's yin...while GSW's Shangri-la lasts. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
pooryorick (12 ♡):
Unfortunately, I’ve been hit like that from someone I knew and there wasn’t any “shaking it off” for me. I’m disappointed by the team and teammate reaction to this so far. Fingers crossed, but almost the worst possible way to start a season after a championship season.
OGG Gurl (11 ♡):
Haven't been able to read all the comments yet, I'm sure a lot has already been said. Honestly, I just feel sad right now. Draymond needs help and I hope someone close to him makes sure he gets it. This is not ok. I love this team and I love when this team wins, but not when there's this type of dysfunction. That punch was violent and Dray being the older vet, bigger, stronger person doing it to the much younger Poole makes it even worse. I don't care what JP said.
hammystyle (11 ♡):
I don't think he needs to be suspended. I think it should have been handled internally. I hope Draymond makes a heartfelt apology to Poole and does what it takes to make it right. How Poole feels about it is really all that matters to me.
I don't think it's a huge deal for this season. At this time last year people wanted to trade Wiggins for not getting the vaccine shot. When there's no games these things get a little more traction.
But it might be a turning point for me long term. Dre came back this year primarily in a leadership role. Curry and Klay are great championship leaders. Draymond is a part of that. He's here to help the young guys become a part of this championship culture, and he believes his voice should ring very loud in that regard. This is how he deals with a young player who's also establishing himself as a star player and championship contributor? How's he gonna handle it if Kuminga or Baldwin take his starting spot in a year or two? It's just disappointing. If you can't be trusted to be a veteran leader as your body and skills decline I'm not sure that's a player who should be kept beyond his current contract.
crusty quips (10 ♡):
I think that there is a not-unlikely scenario where the team is able to move past this, especially if Draymond is sincere in his apology and if Jordan is able and willing to accept it. The team's elder statesmen have been able to navigate difficult situations before and there have been other cases in the NBA where fights have been used to strengthen relationships rather than destroy them. As a Warriors fan I hope that happens and that this doesn't attach an emotional weight to the season.
As a Draymond Green fan, I'm really disappointed. Draymond has always had a volatile personality but his previous outbursts towards members of his own team have been directed at his peers (Durant) and his staff (Kerr, Myers). Draymond has acknowledged himself that his role has changed now to be more of a mentor and a teacher to the younger guys whereas in his younger days he did not have those responsibilities. I know that he is cognizant of the importance that his voice and his actions have on the younger members of the team through how he has described last season in his podcast. He has also talked about the way that fatherhood has changed him and about recognizing the need to be a good role model to his son. To see him then do something like this to a younger brother of his, a mentee, is disappointing because it shows a lack of growth from what he may have behaved like as a younger player himself. I did not expect Draymond to stop being a hothead but I did expect him to learn to channel it better as he took on being a father, the mantle of leadership and the responsibility of being a role model. This ugly event seems to indicate otherwise. I'm not ready to write Dray off yet and we don't know all the details of what happened before and after the punch, but a lot is going to depend on how he responds to this.
pooryorick (10 ♡):
That clip really shook me and I’d like to thank everyone in this community so far for the kinds of discussion I’ve seen in this thread. Helps a lot and absolutely the finest NBA fans out there. No reveling in the violence, no trolling of others for their unique perspectives. Well done all.
Five Alarm Freddy (10 ♡):
I am really pissed off. I have been defending Draymond for years. I even fell silent with the revelation he was playing pick up games with Miles Bridges. I have always given him the benefit of the doubt over and over. I still think he is an incredible basketball mind, but damn I am sickened right now. This is going to take me some time to process.
Goofus (10 ♡):
From yesterday’s press conference, it sounded like Draymond was suspended for two days, one of which was a day off anyway. It made me think it was A Will Smith-Chris Rock type of hit, but this was on a whole ‘nother level. Unless there’s fines and additional game suspensions that weren’t mentioned, that’s a remarkably light punishment. If that’s it and I’m in Poole’s shoes, I’m feeling like the organization is choosing him over me. It makes me wonder if whoever leaked the video felt the same way.
Bob Myers said he didn’t see the incident and could only go by what people told him. He can’t hide behind that excuse now.
If Draymond has played his last game for the Warriors, I’d be ok with that.
"Don't punch people" is generally good manners, but how much does it matter in the NBA?
Ronaldinho (20 ♡):
I found this exchange from the Warriors Plus-Minus podcast to be enlightening. It's from before the altercation, but provides some useful context:
Slater: “Jordan Poole was clearly talking a little junk, like he was about to beat them, and then they just came out stripping 3s. …[Klay] hit the last 3 and was like “where is Jordan Poole?!” …And Jordan Poole is a good sport about it, he comes out into the hallway, he’s doing like a fake interview cause they had mic’d him up. It did kind of display the dynamic between them. He comes up with the microphone and Klay goes ‘Geez, he’s coming for your job too.'"
Kawakami: “That’s good, competition’s good. They haven’t had that, right? …Somebody who can come off the bench and just be his own kind of offense. They’ve never really had that.”
Thompson: “Who pushes them? …That’s all the more reason to pay him right there, the fact that they respond to him like this. They know as much as anybody, like, ‘This dude is a problem!’ To where Klay is like ‘I’m taking you down every chance I get, including in a made up 3pt contest in Tokyo.’”
stopnpop (12 ♡):
> Steph Curry closes his media session with this:
> "The scrimmage ended in a tie, in case anybody wanted to know how basketball went today, it was phenomenal."
Sleepy Freud (12 ♡):
It’s hard to express or fathom how wonderful Stephen Curry is.
jzalvarado (11 ♡):
I mean tempers flared in practice. He swung at Poole. I’m not necessarily comprehending the stretch between that and mental instability.
Nom De Sab (10 ♡):
95.7 The Game
Steph on reports insinuating Jordan Poole's contract talk factored into the fight:
"It’s absolute BS. ... It's not fair to JP."
Mikayla (9 ♡):
I used to broadcast hockey on the radio. Different sport. Different culture. Different level of competition and therefore wealth.
But hockey teammates fight in practice ALL THE TIME. I saw guys try and beat the shit out of each other in practice and sleep on each other’s shoulders on the bus ride to the game the next day. I’m going to continue to come down on the side of not being worried at all.
Dilly (9 ♡):
Everyone needs to just sit quietly for a while and pet a kitten. I had both of mine on my lap tonight sleeping. Very calming. No - you can't have either of my kittens. If you insist on taking my kittens -- I will have to punch you. Just kidding. But you can't have my kittens.
It's almost time for ice cream. I'm not letting any of this distract me from post-game training camp. Keeping it real, like SC30.
crusty quips (9 ♡):
I get that people are unhappy with Draymond and I am too, he knows better than to punch a teammate in practice and deserves to be disciplined by the team in whichever way they decide is appropriate. He is wrong in this situation and from what the team has said it sounds like he is aware of that and does not dispute it. What bothers me though is the confidence that many fans have had in automatically assuming that Dray was behind the leak that led to Haynes making his post about Jordan's attitude in camp. I understand that Draymond is a Klutch client and that Haynes has been close with Klutch but this is still a pretty big and as of yet unfounded assumption. Draymond has a history of emotional outbursts but he doesn't have a history of talking about his teammates behind their back and it kind of sucks that so many Warriors fans just assumed without a second thought that Draymond threw Jordan under the bus to a reporter.
FromMunichWithLove (7 ♡):
The only thing that I get from this situation: we are so damned lucky to have Steph. I hope all of his team mates understand this as well. And act accordingly.
PGBreaker (18 ♡):
I have an announcement of major importance...
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[Thank you. Thank you very much...the applause.. You are much too kind...]
Eric Apricot (13 ♡):
Stay cool Trevion Army, no need to panic until he’s on another NBA team
He had an Exhibit 10 which means he knew he was destined for the G-League. So unless he likes another G-League team better (which would be silly, if he can’t succeed in the GSW system, he’ll never succeed) or some team gives him a two-way or an NBA minimum contract, he’ll be in Santa Cruz this season.
Truckeeman (7 ♡):
Yes, all will (hey, you said "most optimistic"):
Wiseman - in two years, becomes a defensive stopper. Gains sky hooks with either hand. Improves rebounding and footwork. Averages 24 and 16.
Kuminga - watches lots of Kawhi tapes. Works on non-dunk-around-the-basket moves. Improves jump shot and continues to become great at floaters and free throws.
PBJ - adds 30 pounds of muscle. Gets quicker. Learns to shoot 3s from his chest or above his head instead of from his crotch. Becomes an off-the-ball shot blocker.
Moody - tighter handles, better vision, confidence to go to the hoop and take 3s, quickness grows with more plyometrics. Becomes a lock-down defender.
Poole - becomes better at defense; improves finishing against interior bigs
Looney - yes, Looney. Mr. Steady-Eddie. Body continues to recover his youth in a "Benjamin Button" sort of way; he demonstrates his high-school quickness while improving his leaping ability (wins dunk contest). Leads bigs in assists and dunks. Becomes a 45% spot-up shooter later in his career, when he plays everything but the 1.
AttilaTheHun (6 ♡):
This. He is just learning that shot, and he needs to develop it. If he is leaning away from the hoop, avoiding contact, that's a no. But if he can lean in with that hook or develop a true sky hook, I'm all for it. He shot at least one good one leaning in in the 2nd Japan game. Hey Coach, give Kareem a shout and ask him to spend a few hours with the kid teaching him the real thing.
Goofus (5 ♡):
Athletic Alchemy does a great rundown of most all the young guys.
Some of his points have got me thinking a little bit differently about Kuminga and our expectations for the season. As he notes, with Poole starting, Moody looks bigger and is a guy Kerr is using the next 6th man. In addition , PBJ already looks like a guy who very well could challenge for minutes, and both of them are smart, “Kerr-type guys”. (And then there’s DDV, who’s another Kerr-type guy.)
AA talked about the whispers and thinks Kuminga needs to become a lockdown wing-defender to not be the odd man out. That could be why we’re seeing why defense seems to be what he’s concentrating on so far. If he can do it, he’d be really useful in a GP2-ish role where he can lock a point-of-attack guy and then sit in the dunker’s spot and punish teams with the spacing Steph creates. (This also would’ve also been a much better role for Kelly Oubre instead of putting him in a box.)
It’s not the featured role we’ve imagined him filling some day, but if he is having trouble fully grasping the offense like Moody, DDV and PBJ seem to be more capable of doing, maybe it’s his best role.
BadlyBrowned (5 ♡):
Turning JK into a 6'7" GP2 sounds like a real nice player.
hammystyle (5 ♡):
PBJ's fun couple preseason games had me trying to think if there were any big stretch forward types who contributed to playoff teams as rookie 20 year olds. That's a pretty narrow window, but there's some close players.
Peja Stojakovic (who I wishfully compared him to at draft time) was a rookie 21 year old in the first year that Webber, Vlade, and Jason Williams all came together on that Kings team. He played a fair amount.
Ryan Anderson was a 2nd year rotation guy at 21 on a 59 win Magic team.
Rashard Lewis was a 2nd year 20 year old that played about 20 mpg for a 45 win Magic team.
All those guys became major rotation guys the following year. If you're big and can shoot you tend to play a lot.