Draymond Green said he will step away from the Golden State Warriors “for a few days” to focus on himself and allow the team to “heal” in the wake of him punching teammate Jordan Poole in the face during an altercation at practice on Wednesday.
The explosive 32-year-old forward met with the media on Saturday in what were his first public comments since the incident. He also apologized and said he doesn’t know how long he will be away from the team.
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“I was wrong for my actions,” Green said, adding that he apologized to Poole and Poole’s family. “There’s a huge embarrassment that comes with [this]. Not only for myself, as I was the one who committed the action … but the embarrassment that Jordan has to deal with and that this team has to deal with, this organization has to deal with. But also Jordan’s family. His family saw that video. His mother, his father saw that video. If my mother saw that video, I know how my mother would feel.”
He added that he must also “rebuild trust in the locker room.”
“I am a very flawed human being,” he said. “I failed as a leader. I failed as a man.”
The Warriors have yet to indicate whether Green’s leave of absence is at the organization’s doing or voluntary.
Earlier on Saturday, TMZ reported that, according to sources, Poole was carrying himself in a “cocky” manner around the team and that had created “friction.” The two players — both of whom are seeking big contract extensions by an Oct. 17 deadline — got into it following a foul and sources told the outlet that Green called Poole a “bitch.”
Video of the incident showed Green getting in the face of Poole, who shoved him away, with Green responding by punching Poole in the face.
Steph Curry, among others, have disputed a change in attitude for Poole, and the Warriors have been investigating how the video was leaked.
Green also disputed earlier accounts that tension with Poole stemmed from contract extensions.
“I can assure you I don’t count other people’s pockets,” he said. “That’s nothing I would ever stop doing.”
Golden State opens its season against the Lakers on Oct. 18. Though Green said he hopes to play in the game, before which the Warriors will be presented their championship rings from last season’s title, it’s unclear if he will.