If there's one NBA head coach who can relate to Jordan Poole's experience getting punched by an intense and talkative No. 23, it's his own.
Twenty-seven years before Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green reportedly punched Poole in a preseason practice altercation, Michael Jordan did the same to Steve Kerr ahead of the pair's first season together with the Chicago Bulls.
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Rewinding to the fall of 1995, Jordan and Kerr got into it during a scrimmage. During "The Last Dance," the hagiographic 2020 ESPN documentary, Jordan recalled that Kerr hit him in the chest coming down the court. Kerr, upset that Jordan's team was beating his and with Jordan's trash talk, didn't want to back down.
"And I hauled off and hit him right in the f---king eye," Jordan said. "And [then-Bulls coach Phil Jackson] threw me out of practice."
Paula Canny told reporters she had a conflict of interest with Momeni.
Jordan called Kerr later that day to apologize, and Kerr said in the documentary that standing up to Jordan was "the best thing I ever did." He told ESPN ahead of the documentary's full release that the fight was "not something that I'm proud of," owing it to the intensity of "high-level competition."
"In a strange way, it was almost a necessary step in our relationship, in a weird way," Kerr told the outlet. "And from then on, I think he understood me a lot better and vice versa. And we got along much better and competed together and I think he trusted me more. So it was actually sort of, in the end, it was all good."
Poole has more experience with Green — who wears the same number as Jordan — than Kerr did with Jordan, as the former duo is entering their fourth season together as teammates. They also have a more contentious history, verbally sparring with one another during a road game last season.
"One of the things we love about Draymond is his energy and passion," Kerr said last November. "We all know sometimes it bubbles over. The great thing with Dray is he's always about the team. He's always circling back. His loyalty and his passion always land in the right spot. Over 82 games, stuff like that is going to happen. It's behind us."
Green and Poole won a ring months after their verbal altercation last season, while Kerr and Jordan won a championship months after their fight, then two more.
Kerr is almost certainly hoping history repeats itself, with Green and Poole's relationship strengthened and the Warriors summiting the mountaintop once more.
In the meantime, general manager Bob Myers said Green would face discipline but was unlikely to miss any games. Myers said the Warriors are handling Green's punishment "internally."