Getty Images

Right or wrong, whenever there's a Golden State Warriors comment about how much better things are this year than they were last year, it feels like a shot at Jordan Poole. Second unit running smoother with Chris Paul? Shot at Poole. Chemistry better in the locker room? Shot at Poole. 

On Thursday, Draymond Green said the following:

"Last year we had an awful team as far as chemistry goes -- pathetic," Green said. "You look at last year and say, 'Ah man, this team hasn't lost a Western Conference series under Steve Kerr.' And then it happens. The big reason why is our chemistry sucked.

"... Last year was horse sh--. It was hard to come to work. ... Not fun, you know?"

It's hard to imagine this comment isn't aimed directly at Poole. He and Donte DiVincenzo are the only main players from last season's team that are no longer in the locker room. 

Green clearly has beef with Poole. He punched the guy in the face during a preseason practice, and many would argue that single act of teammate-on-teammate crime derailed the Warriors' whole season. You don't have to be a genius to connect the dots. Steve Kerr seemingly connected them, and, on Friday, he came to Poole's defense. 

"First of all, I think it's unfair for people to just point at Jordan [Poole]," Kerr said on 95.7 The Game. "That's wrong... Jordan was fantastic while he was here. He helped us win a championship. I hate that he gets any criticism. Last year went wrong for a number of reasons and we all share the blame in that."

Here's Kerr's full response:

If ever there were ever two sides to a story, it's this one. Green clearly went over the line by landing a haymaker on his then-teammate, and if that did junk up the Warriors' season, it was certainly not the first time he has cost his team. Anyone remember the 2016 Finals? The Draymond suspension for losing his cool? Or when he went into a sideline tirade on Kevin Durant, who left the following summer? Green has a history here, no matter what Poole might've said to set him off. 

On the flip side, the Warriors are pretty clearly a more connected team this season. The vibes feel great even from the outside, and, on the court, there's no comparison between the impact Paul has had on the second unit, and the team as a whole, effectively in Poole's place. The whole team is just so much more stable, even if they still suffer from their typical turnover woes, and the defense has been stout, which was always at a disadvantage with Poole on the court.

So yeah, the team looks better on the court, and, according to Draymond, it feels better in the locker room, too. But Poole can't be saddled with all the blame for that. The fact of the matter is Poole was a significant part of a championship team, as Kerr said. In fact, he carried the Warriors at times. He was a pretty good player who had some great stretches and some terrible ones; it's just that the terrible ones are more fresh in our minds.