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Damian Lillard on Draymond Green Punch: ‘It’s Unfortunate’

Portland’s superstar reacts to a former teammate’s practice incident.

Olympics: Basketball-Men Finals - Bronze Medal Match Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA community is still abuzz about the altercation between Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and teammate Jordan Poole, in which Green threw an unrestrained punch that connected with Poole’s face in practice. Latest to comment when asked about the situation is Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard.

“It’s unfortunate. When you spend as much time with your teammates as we do, you know, you want it to be positive, you want it to be respectful, but I’d be lying if I said there hasn’t been a lot of heated moments that I’ve seen in my career,” Lillard told local media at Saturday’s practice. “I’m sure it’s happened in every locker room.”

A video of the assault was leaked by TMZ on Friday, showing Green approach Poole in a heated exchange of words. Poole shoved Green away, at which point Green positively decked him.

The scene was ugly but not unprecedented. This sort of thing does happen on rare occasions behind the scenes. Some may recall that then Chicago Bull Bobby Portis received an 8-game suspension in 2017 for breaking teammate Nikola Mirotic’s jaw in self-defense. The punishment awaiting Green is likely to be more severe.

Lillard continued, suggesting that Green and Poole could both learn from this experience.

“[…] I’m a boxing fan. In boxing, they say, ‘protect yourself at all times.’ I think Draymond, who I know pretty well, probably walked away from that situation saying, ‘I probably shouldn’t have did that to my teammate and to my team.’ And Jordan Poole was probably walking away from it saying, ‘When I push somebody, I should know that something could be coming back and to be ready to defend myself.’”

Green apologized to Poole and Poole’s family, calling the video “a huge embarrassment” and is expected to step away from the team in the next few days, as reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania.