Huge question facing Draymond Green ahead of return to the Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns
Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

While acknowledging that he's cost his team enough, the proof will be in the pudding for veteran forward Draymond Green as he prepares to return to the Golden State Warriors lineup.

After a tell-all podcast on Monday where Green outlined the impact and details of his indefinite suspension, the 33-year-old faced the media on Tuesday with a further focus on his return to the floor.

As he prepares to re-enter the Golden State Warriors lineup, Draymond Green must find a greater balance between his best-self and not stepping over the line

The biggest question facing Green and the Warriors is whether the former Defensive Player of the Year can balance his fiery competitiveness and attitude, while ensuring he doesn't step over the line yet again. Green has always walked a tightrope and played on the edge, but has found himself going too far on too many occasions over the past 12 months.

During that period, Green was suspended a game for a stomping incident with Domantas Sabonis in last season's playoffs, was suspended for five games after his chokehold on Rudy Gobert, then was indefinitely suspended by the league for his hit on Jusuf Nurkic last month.

One more incident and Green may quite literally be barred permanently. Yet at the same time, walking that line has so often allowed him to play at a level that's helped the Warriors to four championships over the last decade.

The man himself believes he can find an equilibrium. Although his misconduct against other players have often caused the headlines, it's Green's actions with referees that are often just as ugly.

"Not crossing the line with the referee, yes that's a big point of emphasis for me. Knowing and understanding where that line is, but I didn't make it to this point worried about touching the line."

Draymond Green on Tuesday

Head coach Steve Kerr didn't seem as certain in Green's ability to provide the much-needed stability while also playing at his best, yet nonetheless spoke about its importance in allowing the Warriors to get back on track.

"Can he walk that line? Can he still play with fire and energy but leave the officials alone? It's going to be a big challenge but we're going to ask him to do that. We need that so we can focus on the game, his teammates need that so we can focus on all of the little details that are eluding us right now."

Steve Kerr

The reality is that Green is running out of time and at this point, words are nothing but exactly that. How many times has he promised to rein in his behaviour previously? How many times have we seen these type of press conferences? It's a growing struggle to hold faith in his ability to just go and play basketball without engaging in the other extra-curricular activities.

At the same time, Golden State's growing struggles mean they need Green now more than ever. While many fans will be frustrated by the manner of his indefinite suspension, they'll be equally excited to see him return given the lack of hope that's engulfed the franchise over recent games.

Although he's pushing to come back as soon as possible, Green's return game is still yet to be determined as he continues to ramp up his training load before re-entering the fold.