Draymond Green is coming back: Big challenges for both the player and the Warriors

Golden State basketball player Draymond Green will join the team after almost a month's break

by Sededin Dedovic
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Draymond Green is coming back: Big challenges for both the player and the Warriors
© Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Golden State Warriors shooting guard Draymond Green is inching closer to rejoining the team after a nearly month-long suspension for his on-court altercation with Jusuf Nurkic on Dec. 13. The incident, in which Green punched Nurkic, led to a swift and indefinite suspension from the NBA, leaving the Warriors without their defensive anchor and vocal leader.

Green's absence has been significant, forcing the Warriors to adjust their rotations and leadership dynamic. With 10 games to go and one more to sit out before facing commissioner Adam Silver for a potential return, Golden State went 6-5.

Although they maintained a winning record, the team undoubtedly lacked Green's defensive prowess and loud presence on the field that he will need to control in the future. Silver's decision on Green's return is expected to be a formality, and reports suggest counseling sessions and discussions with team, league and union officials have been productive.

However, the incident serves as a stark reminder of Green's volatile temper and its potential consequences. In addition to the suspension, Green forfeits roughly $150,000 per game missed, a significant financial toll that adds to the reputational damage.

Approach his return carefully

Beyond the immediate impact, Green's return raises questions about his long-term association with the Warriors. While his fiery passion and defensive IQ are undeniable assets, repeated outings have overshadowed his contributions and cast a shadow over team chemistry.

Counseling and discussions serve as key steps to ensure that such incidents do not happen again, but rebuilding trust and regaining the trust of his teammates will be an ongoing process. For the Warriors, Green's return offers a much-needed boost as they chase the championship aspirations they reignited in last season's Finals.

However, his reintegration should be handled carefully and responsibly. Finding the right balance between utilizing his strengths and mitigating his responsibilities will be key to the Warriors' success in the second half of the season and beyond.

His return promises to be a closely followed story, and the real test would be last night's game, which his team lost in the last seconds of the match with an unreal three-pointer from Jokic. The question remains how Green would react after that drama.

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