The relationship between former Golden State Warriors teammates Draymond Green and Jordan Poole has been prominent in conversations over the past week, with more having been revealed in the aftermath of the young guard’s departure from the franchise.
But while the Green-Poole dynamic has been front of mind since the pair’s infamous altercation in training camp last year, the latter’s relationships with other Warrior personnel is also an interesting subplot to the events of the last nine months.
Did Jordan Poole’s relationship issues inside the Golden State Warriors extend further than just Draymond Green?
Speaking recently to NBC Sports Bay Area, NBA legend Charles Barkley left no stone unturned in describing his belief of the entire Warriors-Poole relationship.
"“They hated Jordan Poole. They really hated Jordan Poole. That’s the No. 1 thing I said to myself: They really hated Jordan Poole. This is going to be a chance for him to reset. He had a tough year. He was peaks and valleys, so he needed a fresh start. I hope it works out for him.”"
While Barkley may have been excessive with his use of the word ‘hate’, there were clear signs that some of Poole’s other key relationships were starting to become strained towards the latter end of his time in the Bay.
Although the franchise was almost always supportive of Poole publicly — right to the point he was traded and even in the weeks since — there were a couple of indirect comments from Poole and Steve Kerr that had fans questioning the relationship between player and head coach.
After Poole was restricted to less than 11 minutes in Golden State’s near must-win Game 4 against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second-round, a frustrated Poole reportedly stated to the media in the locker room, “maybe opportunity changes but you can only control what you can control.”
Joining Green on his podcast early in the NBA Finals, Kerr was full of admiration for the Miami Heat’s role players –
"“None of those guys on Miami are sitting there saying, ‘well I didn’t play’ or ‘man they put in so and so’. They’re just all about winning”, Kerr said."
Most believe his comments were a subtle but brutal message to Poole — who was still a Warrior at the time — and Jonathan Kuminga, both of whom had been outspoken in regard to their playing time during the postseason.
The whole truth around Poole’s last nine months at the Warriors, and really his whole tenure at the franchise in general, probably won’t be known for years to come if at all. Although Barkley’s comments may be a major overreaction, there’s enough elements at play to suggest it wasn’t just an isolated issue between Poole and Green.