So if a handful of titles no longer eclipse an archive of rogue elbows, groins kicking And punchesa first round of the playoffs chest trampling and now – the latest release from Green’s mixed martial arts moveset – a hold which cost Green the longest suspension for an on-court confrontation ever handed down by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, then we can predict that a championship as a sixth man won’t protect 24-year-old Jordan Poole from a growing and unwanted reputation.
Recently, these two former teammates have entered the news cycle in part because of their reputations: Green for losing his mind and trying to choke Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert and Poole for appearing disengaged during a downtime in a video that went viral.
Although this pair can now play on opposite coasts, Green and Poole will be forever linked due to the punch that blew up the warriors. And while Green stands on the very edge of his career, intentionally working to clean up his dirty-player rap, Poole leaps to the cusp of his own NBA legacy, casually building up the notoriety of a punchline. They are bound by the same dilemma, their worst moments threatening to eclipse their achievements.
The problem of reputation: we cannot choose ours. It’s one of those unfair but accepted truths that even though we are the captains of our own lives, we cannot control how others might perceive and judge our actions in the world. So our reputations can follow us, warranting backlash, much like how the NBA rationalized the length of Green’s five-game suspension due to his “history of unsportsmanlike acts.” And our reputation may precede us, just as Poole’s did in Brooklyn when she encouraged someone inside the Barclays Center to stay alert for any shenanigans from the Washington Wizards guard.
Over time, reputations grow and take on a life of their own. And although Poole and Green are no longer teammates, the younger player could still observe the veteran and learn how a series of mistakes can ruin everything.
Green learned too late. And now, at 33, Green cares so much about his reputation — and changing it — that he’s launched a reclamation project. Because he do Possessing a level of self-awareness and the intelligence to recognize how a sympathetic audience will support a human being willing to admit his faults, Green allowed a film crew to follow him on his summer 2021 journey to spiritual well-being.
In the pilot episode of Prime Video "The Sessions," Green, who served as executive producer, is clearly presented as a misunderstood competitor who simply hates to lose, a loving father terrified by his daughter’s health problems, and a wounded man in need of healing. So, between testimonials from his college coach, Tom Izzo, and his NBA coach, Steve Kerr, and heartwarming scenes at home, viewers can watch Green meditate with self-help guru Deepak Chopra and learn to feel his feelings .
As a result of this attempt to work on himself – and do it for public consumption – Green won another title, but also hit his younger, smaller teammate with a forehand during an incident at 2022 training camp. Reiki treatments, apparently, couldn’t stop Green from throwing a season-destroying punch.
Unlike Green, Poole takes a more calm approach. He doesn’t need a PR machine because, in reality, he doesn’t care what outsiders think of him.
“See, it goes back to who says it, right? Poole said this week. “People who are close to me, people who are in the gym (matter).”
Poole has been the butt of jokes before, but the golden veneer of playing with the Warriors and their superstars has protected him from becoming a total caricature. There he was a victor and the armor bearer for the next phase of the Warrior dynasty. Who, with a straight face, could really make fun of a young champion? But in Washington, where jokes are written and the team’s 2-10 record makes accumulation fashionable, Poole no longer has a shield but instead carries a target.
During a recent game against the Brooklyn Nets, Poole, just being himself, gave this camera-ready fan enough material to create a little three-act play with a Wizards timeout as inspiration.
The setup: Poole seems agitated about something and confides in a teammate.
The showdown: Teammate tied to two-way deal encourages Poole to examine coach Wes Unseld’s game; Poole apparently remains adrift.
The Resolution: Poole continues a season-long narrative in which he was cast as an unserious player.
There are positive vignettes that combat this narrative, the stories portraying Poole as a student of a game, so determined to learn that he contact rivals for advice. Or as a gym enthusiast obsessed with working on his shot, according to Unseld. During his brief stay in Washington, I found Poole to be a thoughtful young man who cares about being a leader in addition to becoming big. These are the qualities that I thought would make him an easy player to root for, especially after the way things ended with the Warriors.
Instead, Poole spent his early days in Washington as a star player in “Shaqtin a fool” and easy entertainment for the masses who seem more interested in his on-court antics than his basketball abilities.
No matter how many championships Green has won, when we hear “Draymond is back in the news,” we’ll wonder which guy he hit this time. And regardless of his internal drive to be great, when we consider “Jordan Poole” a trending topic, we’ll assume it’s because he threw an alley-oop lob pass off the backboard with his team in drop of 21 points.
Two actors, linked to each other and to reputations that they would prefer to leave behind them. A reputation can change, and there’s still time for Green and Poole to reclaim theirs. But it’s hard to convince people that you’re misunderstood once the next viral video starts trending.