When Stephen Curry nailed the game-winning three for the Golden State Warriors against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, fans were eager to see the reaction of teammates just as much as re-watching the glorious shot itself.
The response, from both players on the floor and on the bench, was about as positive as it could have been for a preseason game. In a way the Warriors hope it’s a microcosm of renewed energy among the franchise, or ‘vibes’ as it’s so often labelled — both terms that are hard to quantify yet are obvious for everyone watching on.
With the Draymond Green-Jordan Poole dynamic behind them, the Golden State Warriors are hoping to restore the ‘vibes’ in the quest for an NBA championship this season.
Many would argue that Golden State’s hopes of back-to-back championships ended before it begun last season. Draymond Green’s infamous altercation with Jordan Poole in training camp put them on the backfoot immediately, and although they battled hard down the final stretch of the season, a second-round playoff exit was all they could muster.
In an extensive interview with Poole, The Ringer’s Logan Murdock revisited the training camp incident and outlined to what degree it may have impacted the Warriors last season.
"“According to Warriors officials, head coach Steve Kerr made several attempts to convince Green to take Poole to dinner, to smooth over their relationship, but Green declined,” Murdock wrote. “Those around the situation now believe the lack of disciplinary action—other than an undisclosed fine—and the inability of anyone on the Warriors to repair the fractured relationship soured the team’s season.”"
The word ‘sour’ might be putting it mildly, with the Warriors having clearly played without the joy and exuberance they held in their championship-winning season the year before. While it wasn’t the only factor behind Golden State’s decision to trade Poole during the offseason, his relationship with Green (or lack thereof) was a pre-eminent reason.
Ironically, the Warriors have cultivated an unbeaten preseason record without Green and Poole as part of the mix. While the latter begins to unearth his maximum potential in Washington, including 41 points against the Knicks on Wednesday, Green is recovery from an ankle injury sustained a few weeks ago.
The Green-Poole dynamic will remain a fascinating situation going forward, particularly when the 24-year-old returns to the Bay on December 23. For now, the Warriors will be moving on in the hope of a different energy this season.