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Draymond apologizes to Steph for actions causing leadership doubts

Draymond apologizes to Steph for actions causing leadership doubts originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

One of the Warriors' veteran leaders is nearing a return to the court and not a moment too soon.

Key phrase: 'One of.'

Golden State is anchored by its dynastic trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green and while Green, who officially was reinstated on Saturday, was serving out an indefinite suspension for striking Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkić in the face on Dec. 12, Curry faced seemingly unfair criticism surrounding his role as a leader.

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith questioned Curry's leadership on an episode of "First Take" following Green's incident and immediately was met with pushback for his comments. Green addressed Smith's comments in his first public remarks since his suspension on the latest episode of "The Draymond Green Show," where the Warriors forward explained why he was so hurt by the unfair critique of Curry.

"One thing throughout this process that really hurt me, I turned on the TV screen and Stephen A. [Smith] was like 'Steph is a bad leader because Draymond did X,'" Green said. "And it pissed me off but it crushed me. It crushed me because how is Steph enduring being a bad leader? Like this guy doesn't give us anything to tear him down about. This guy does everything the right way and yet he's being torn down because of my actions? It crushed me. That was a tough blow to deal with."

Green issued an apology to Curry for the unfair criticism his teammate faced because of his actions.

"And because he got crushed publicly for that, I'm going to apologize publicly," Green added. "I sincerely apologize to Steph for my actions. Because that was a tough pill to swallow. Very thankful for Steph as I've been out on this time. We talked every day, every other day just checking in. He's like 'Yo, I'm going to be right here with you through this. I'm going to help you through this.' And he's been very much so that.

Green returned to the Warriors' bench in the 133-118 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday at Chase Center and while the defeat perhaps was Golden State's worst this season, Green's veteran leadership was felt immediately upon return.

It remains to be seen when exactly Green will return to the court as he continues his ramp-up, but whenever that day comes, the Warriors will welcome one of their veteran leaders back with open arms.

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