What was dubbed an internal matter by the Golden State Warriors on Thursday became fodder for public debate Friday when TMZ released video of an on-court altercation between teammates Draymond Green and Jordan Poole.
The video, which has no audio and appears to be footage from Wednesday's practice when the altercation took place, shows Green walking over to the baseline where Poole is standing until the two are face-to-face. Poole then shoves Green with two hands before Green punches Poole with enough force that Poole's head is thrown back as others rush over to the pair.
News of the incident had already gotten out before TMZ released the video.
On Thursday, Warriors General Manager Bob Myers told reporters that Green had apologized to the team for the altercation, left the training facility and was not expected back until Saturday. Myers said the team would decide on a punishment internally, although he did not expect Green to miss any games as a result. Poole returned to practice Thursday.
It is now impossible for the defending NBA champions to keep the matter in-house. Also troubling for the organization is that the video appears to have been taken from inside Golden State's practice facility, suggesting a significant breach of trust.
While it is typical for people who aren't coaches, players or team staff to attend an NBA practice, those inside the building are usually there at the team's invitation. Team broadcasters, player alumni, college coaches and anyone else observing attend with the implicit understanding that what they see is not for public consumption. Although rules vary by team, reporters generally aren't allowed to watch practice until the final segment - usually when drills and scrimmages are over and players are just shooting around.
The video's release led to a firestorm on NBA Twitter on Friday morning, with players, fans and basketball media weighing in on everything from Green's possible motives to the source of the presumably leaked footage.
The Warriors will now be under a microscope as they dole out Green’s punishment in the final weeks before the regular season begins Oct. 18. Golden State hosts the Los Angeles Lakers in its next preseason game Sunday.