Mock fighting is the norm for the Clippers’ pregame, but I haven’t seen a single player targeted like this. Whatever gets you pumped, I guess.
“How did that video get leaked?”
That was the primary reaction of players on Twitter after TMZ got ahold of the practice video showing Draymond Green punching Jordan Poole during a Warriors practice. The video has gone viral in NBA circles and brought an issue the Warriors hoped was in the rearview mirror front and center again.
Trae Young played the instigator on Twitter with his response (although the rumor of Green wanting to join the Lakers if the Warriors don’t extend him has been floating around the league for a while).
Draymond is tryna get to LA.
Damn ! 😳
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) October 7, 2022
While some other players talked about the incident, most players were focused on how something they consider private — a practice — became public.
All I’m saying is you ain’t responding with a PUNCH if that’s somebody you really rock with!!! Especially after a PUSH. But I ain’t in the practice and I didn’t hear what was being said so ima leave that alone but DAMN
— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) October 7, 2022
How in DA HELL was that @Money23Green Jordan Poole video leaked?? That’s an in-house video, man there better be some heads rolling.. Y’all are the World Champs and have an inside snitch?!?!? #SoNotCool
— Reggie Miller (@ReggieMillerTNT) October 7, 2022
Id fire my ENTIRE VIDEO STAFF pic.twitter.com/4D9ucA0BEU
— Richard Jefferson (@Rjeff24) October 7, 2022
— Mikal Bridges (@mikal_bridges) October 7, 2022
"There's no reason to sucker punch the young fella. I told Draymond last night that he has to fix the situation with [Jordan] Poole… You never hit your teammates in practice, man."
Stephen Jackson on Draymond Green's altercation with Jordan Poole. pic.twitter.com/wdwXHzQRAh
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 7, 2022
There is no way you can get back to being teammates after a punch like that.
— Evan Fournier (@EvanFourmizz) October 7, 2022
Fire whoever leaked that video. Got a whole bunch of mofos who can't be trusted. Everybody wrong. As soon as Dray start walking somebody supposed to get in front of him..looks like the video guys and support staff got more heart than some of then chumps on the sideline
— David West (@D_West30) October 7, 2022
Former Grizzlies executive John Hollinger posted the response of the 29 other teams.
That noise you just heard? That was every team that has automatic practice court cameras in their facility sending out an alert for an urgent mandatory staff meeting.
— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) October 7, 2022
The Warriors thought they had the situation handled. Sure, Draymond Green punched Jordan Poole during practice but Green apologized to the team and discipline was being handled “internally.” Nothing to see here, move along.
Then TMZ got ahold of a leaked practice video that shows things being much uglier than most imagined.
— Kylen Mills (@KylenMills) October 7, 2022
It shows Green and Poole had their beef and were talking, Green walked up on Poole, then Poole pushed him away with two hands and Green came back with a vicious punch to the face that was a massive escalation.
The Warriors do not practice on Friday and nobody from the organization is scheduled to speak to the media. Green is expected to rejoin his teammates in practice on Saturday, coach Steve Kerr said previously.
The Warriors likely will say this changes nothing, they had already seen the video before settling on a punishment. Plus, punches have been thrown in NBA practices more times than anyone could count — including Kerr getting punched by Michael Jordan in a legendary Bulls practice.
But there was never video like this leaked before.
It increases the inherent tension around the situation, keeps the news cycle alive and gives fans (and media pundits) some context and facts to discuss whether the Warriors are letting Green off easy.
It will also bubble up the subtext to all this about the Warriors’ future spending, something NBC Sports Bay Area’s Dalton Johnson and I discussed on a PBT Podcast previewing the Warriors’ season. Co-owner Joe Lacob has said that the Warriors’ salary and tax limit will make it hard to extend all three of Andrew Wiggins, Poole and Green at the prices they expect. Poole, the youngest of the group and a bridge to the future, is going to get his money (probably a little more than Tyler Herro just got from the Heat). There’s been speculation that Green would be the odd man out (or would have to be willing to take a paycut to stay), he can opt-out and be a free agent this summer.
The Warriors thought this fight was in the rearview mirror. Green and Poole would have to address it with the media at some point, but the Warriors wanted to move on and focus on the season and their upcoming ring ceremony.
The leaked video changes that dynamic. The controversy remains on the front page and the Warriors will have to deal with it.
The only thing that is certain in all this is that the Warriors will investigate who leaked the video and then fire that person.
Victor Wembanyama came to Las Vegas this week and put the hype machine into overdrive: In two games against the G-League Ignite he scored 73 points with 15 rebounds, nine blocks, hit 9-of-18 3-pointers (and 22-of-44 overall). He is a 7’4″ freak that LeBron James called an “alien” and a “generational talent,” and Stephen Curry said he was a “2K create-a-player.”
Combine that with the play of the Ignite’s Scoot Henderson — who had scouts using a young Derrick Rose comparison because of his athleticism, body control and skill — and the reaction in NBA circles was clear: There will be a “race to the bottom” this season. With multiple franchise cornerstone players available (and a deep draft at the top beyond those two), tanking will be an epidemic in the NBA.
Adam Silver, speaking in the United Arab Emirates before an NBA preseason game between the Bucks and Hawks, does not want to see teams tanking for Wembanyama.
Adam Silver on Victor Wembanyama: "I know that many of our NBA teams are salivating at the notion that potentially through our lottery, they can get him, so they should all still compete very hard next season." pic.twitter.com/sW93zDOFwG
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) October 6, 2022
Good luck with that, Adam.
The league office hates tanking and even a discussion of it. They hate the idea of a fan base being told — or, worse yet, actively rooting for — their team to lose games. This season there will be an epidemic of it around the league. In a typical year, a front office may want to tank but their challenge is getting buy-in from ownership. Not this year — Wembanyama could add $500 million to the value of a franchise, one league executive told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
It could make the NBA trade deadline in February wild as teams that started the season thinking playoffs but were out of the mix (due to injury or just not being good enough) pivot to tanking. For example, think Portland from last season after Damian Lillard had surgery. Of course, the Trail Blazers also can serve as a cautionary tale — they had the sixth-worst record in the league last season but fell to seventh in the draft. Tanking doesn’t always work.
There were already were teams clearly in rebuild mode and racing to the bottom this season — do you think it’s a coincidence Danny Ainge blew up the Jazz this past summer? — and some other teams with some promising young talent (Houston, Orlando) that are fine losing a lot of games while those guys learn on the job. But the bottom of the standings could get crowded.
The NBA flattened out the lottery odds a few years ago to discourage tanking: The teams with the three worst records have a 14% chance to get the top pick and the odds drop from there (fourth is 12.5%, fifth is 10.5%, and it keeps on going down). However, this year, because the prize at the top of the draft is so huge, more teams than ever could try to get into that top three, or at least do what they can to fatten their odds.
However, with the prize being Wembanyama this season, a lot of teams may be willing to take that risk.
Despite what Adam Silver wants.
HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Joel Embiid has two choices: the red, white and blue of the U.S., or the blue, white and red of France.
An Olympic medal might hinge on his decision.
France is still hopeful that Embiid – the reigning NBA scoring champion – will choose to wear its colors for the 2024 Paris Olympics even though he recently became an American citizen, national team coach Vincent Collet said Thursday.
Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers star, may choose to play internationally for the U.S. or France, but not both. It was widely presumed that he would play for France at the Paris Games and possibly even next year’s Basketball World Cup in the Philippines, until Embiid revealed last week that he now has American citizenship as well.
“Now he has both nationalities, and he has to choose one basketball nationality, which is not the same,” Collet told The Associated Press. “So, that is a choice. Nobody can do anything to change it.”
Embiid told AP last week that it’s too early to think about a decision. By rule, he will eventually have to declare a choice to FIBA, the sport’s international governing body, if he decides that he wants to play at the Olympics or World Cup.
France is the reigning Olympic silver medalist and is planning to have a team featuring Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum – and, quite likely, top NBA draft prospect Victor Wembanyama – at the Paris Games. France’s plan is to essentially take what will be its Olympic roster to the World Cup next year.
Without Embiid, that French core has been extremely formidable. On top of the 2021 silver in Tokyo, France won bronze at the 2019 World Cup and silver again at this year’s European championships.
With Embiid, that group would figure to be even better. Collet said Boris Diaw, the general manager of the French national team, has been in contact with Embiid to discuss options.
“I know he met some of our players to discuss,” Collet said. “I think he should play with us. But we will see. We will respect his decision whatever it is.”
Embiid was born in Cameroon and has held French citizenship. He has a Brazilian girlfriend – their son is American – went to high school in Florida and played college basketball at Kansas.
The five-time NBA All-Star and four-time All-NBA selection has spent his entire pro career with Philadelphia, averaging 26.0 points in his first six seasons and a career-best 30.6 points on his way to the scoring crown last season.