Following their elimination from the NBA Playoffs at the hands of LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, the Golden State Warriors’ season is undergoing an autopsy to figure out where it all went wrong for the defending NBA champs.
And according to a new report from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the Warriors’ title defense began unraveling before the season even began thanks to Draymond Green infamously socking Jordan Poole, which is an incident that the team evidently never recovered from.
But so much of why the Warriors didn’t come together this year can be traced back to why they nearly came apart at the beginning of the season.
Green’s punch didn’t just knock out Poole. It laid bare the tension between the older championship core and the younger players the organization hoped would supersede them one day. And it has never really gone away, sources say, despite Poole’s relative silence on the matter this season.
Given that the relationship between Green and Poole appears to be irreparable, it’ll be fascinating to see how the Warriors handle the situation in the offseason as they just signed Poole to a four-year, $140 million extension back in October.
Despite this, however, a report from The Athletic indicates that despite being “hesitant” to move on from Poole due to his age and talent, the team will at least “see what the market is like” for the 23-year-old guard.
As a result of their Game 6 victory over the Warriors, LeBron and the Lakers have advanced to the Western Conference Finals to take on Nikola Jokic and the #1 seed Denver Nuggets, which is a rematch of the 2020 Western Conference Finals, which the Lakers won en route to LeBron’s fourth NBA title.
The Western Conference Finals between the Lakers and Nuggets will begin on Tuesday night in Denver with Game 1.