Kevin Durant is set to play against the Golden State Warriors for the first time since his 2019 departure, and he has nothing but love for them.
Before Tuesday’s season opener against the Warriors, the Brooklyn Nets star spoke highly of his relationship with his former teammates in Golden State, including Draymond Green.
“Definitely keep in touch here and there,” said Durant. “I’ve seen Draymond in the summer. We ran into each other at a restaurant. It was good to see him and his family … It’s good to see from afar, see everybody’s doing well and realize that these bonds that we created will never be broken no matter what jerseys we put on, no matter what part of the country we all live in.”
Durant also added that he would “always be a Warrior” in his heart.
The former NBA MVP won two championships in his three seasons with the Warriors but had an acrimonious relationship with Green at times. Green recently said he had an issue with Durant letting his free agency situation linger in his last season in Golden State instead of being more transparent.
In any case, Green has been ruled out for Tuesday’s game against Brooklyn, so the two will not be able to duke it out on the court. It does seem like whatever issues they once had are now in the past though.
Don’t expect Draymond Green to go easy on new Golden State Warriors draft pick James Wiseman.
The Warriors made Wiseman the No. 2 overall pick in Wednesday’s NBA Draft. On Thursday, he said he had already heard from Green, who didn’t mince words when it came to telling Wiseman how much his draft status would matter.
Green isn’t necessarily wrong. He was a second-round pick who’s gotten a lot further in his career than some second overall picks have.
It’s worth noting that Green was publicly supportive of the Warriors drafting Wiseman. He isn’t coming at this from a place of skepticism. Green is a hard worker who’s obsessed with proving people wrong and earning the plaudits. That’s the attitude he wants from his teammates, too.
Many have called for Anthony Davis to be suspended for the elbow he threw at Jae Crowder on Friday night, but someone who knows all about throwing cheap shots in the NBA Finals does not feel that is warranted.
Draymond Green, who was suspended for a game during the 2016 NBA Finals for hitting LeBron James in the groin, took to Twitter on Saturday to defend Davis. He said he doesn’t believe in having a playoff series decided by a suspension.
Green’s opinion is obviously a biased one. He was suspended for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals for hitting LeBron James in the groin, and many feel that completely turned the series. The Golden State Warriors had a 3-1 lead then lost Game 5 without Green. Cleveland ended up coming back to win the title.
You can see the video of Green’s cheap shot here.
Davis appeared to throw an elbow at Crowder during Game 5 on Friday night. One angle of the play made it seem like Davis elbowed Crowder in the face, but another angle didn’t look quite as bad.
The NBA has indicated that Davis will not be suspended. Green is right that it would not be ideal to determine a champion with a suspension, but that line of thinking can only go so far. You can’t just give players immunity in the NBA Finals.
Draymond Green has played eight seasons with the Golden State Warriors and won three championships during that span. He has mostly experienced winning during his NBA career, and it has come in the biggest way.
Green’s first title came in 2015 and then the next two came in 2017 and 2018 after Kevin Durant joined the team.
So which title felt the most gratifying? He answered that question while serving as an analyst on TNT Friday night.
“The first one is always best,” Green said. “I think that one was more gratifying for sure. It just felt way harder.
“In 2017, we got smacked on Christmas Day to the Cavs. Steph (Curry) and KD (Kevin Durant) were trying to figure out who would take the shot, and it was really messing our team up. And then we played those guys again and blasted them by about 50 points. At that point I knew it was just a matter of time that we would win in the Finals.
“But in 2015, we had to grind every single day. It was way tougher in 2015, so that one 100 percent feels better.”
How could it not be? The 2015 championship was much tougher to earn. Once the Warriors got Durant on their team, they had an almost unfair roster. Like Green said, it was not a matter of “if” they would win the title with Durant, but “when.” The Warriors probably would have won three in a row with KD except injuries got in the way.
Green has been receiving plaudits for his work as an analyst on TNT. He also turned some heads for what he said earlier in the playoffs.
The classic role of a traditional center continues to become more scarce in the NBA, and one player thinks that’s only getting worse.
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green sees the Lakers-Rockets series as something of a referendum on the center position. While the Lakers still have classic big men like Dwight Howard, the Rockets lean on smaller lineups. 6-foot-7 Robert Covington was Houston’s tallest Game 1 starter, and the only one over 6-foot-5.
Green said on Twitter that a Rockets win would further hasten the demise of the classic center position.
Interestingly, Green helped bring small-ball into vogue. The Warriors sometimes deployed him at center despite being just 6-foot-6.
At least one member of the Lakers seemed to relish the challenge of facing the smaller Houston lineup. That didn’t work out well in Game 1, as the Rockets won by 15.
Draymond Green is already one of the NBA’s most vocal presences on the court, and now he is about to be a more vocal presence off the court as well.
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letorneau reported on Friday that the Golden State Warriors star forward is joining CNN as a contributor. Green will appear periodicially on the network to discuss issues linking sports and society.
Green, 30, has had a long layoff since the Warriors’ season ended in March. During that time, he has made a number of television guest appearances, including on TNT’s “Inside the NBA.”
One of Green’s recent appearances even led to a fine, so he will probably make for more interesting television now that he is contributing to CNN.
NBA players have decided that they want to proceed with the season, and Draymond Green clearly thinks that is the right move.
Before players met and reportedly decided that they want to resume the playoffs, Green shared some of his thoughts on the subject in an Instagram comment. He criticized those who say NBA players should stop working over social justice issues. Green, whose Golden State Warriors were not involved in the Orlando restart, believes that would be “counterproductive.”
“The notion that athletes should just stop working but no one else in the world should stop is baffling to me,” Green wrote. “Why stop doing the very thing that offers you the biggest platform to speak for those that look like me/us.”
Players — at least the majority of them — ultimately agreed with Green. They decided on Thursday morning to finish the season despite reports the night before that two top teams wanted to call it off.
Three playoff games were postponed on Wednesday, and the same will happen for Thursday’s games. The expectation is play could resume either on Friday or over the weekend. In the meantime, players are reportedly compiling a list of “actionable items” for the NBA.
Charles Barkley has taken numerous shots at Draymond Green over the years, and it appears the Golden State Warriors star is programmed to expect them.
Green served as a guest analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” Friday night, and at one point Barkley was talking about players who aren’t great shooters and how they make it easier on defenses. He was specifically referring to Marcus Smart and the Boston Celtics, but Green took it personally and asked if Barkley was “throwing shots.”
It’s possible Green was messing with Barkley and Chuck was caught off-guard, though Draymond didn’t really seem like he was joking. Perhaps it was payback for all the grief Barkley has given him.
Barkley has roasted Green multiple times already this year, the most recent of which was particularly harsh. You can’t blame Green for having the gloves up at all times when he’s in the same room as Sir Charles.
The Phoenix Suns posted a video response on Twitter to Draymond Green’s fine.
Green was fined $50,000 by the NBA for saying that Devin Booker is too good of a player to be stuck on the Suns.
Phoenix took note of the fine and posted a response, saying they have at least 50,000 reasons why they love Booker. The video included highlights of their star guard:
The Suns haven’t made the playoffs since 2009-2010 and haven’t had a winning season since 2013-2014. Booker has only known losing since going pro. But the Suns were fortunate enough to have been included in the NBA restart, and they are maximizing the opportunity.
They have gone 5-0 in Orlando and seem to be heading in the right direction. Maybe that is giving Booker confidence about believing in his organization. The organization obviously enjoys having him.
As for Draymond, he didn’t seem to mind his fine.
Draymond Green was fined by the NBA on Sunday for tampering, and the Golden State Warriors star found the situation quite entertaining.
Appearing as a guest analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” Friday night, Green had high praise for Devin Booker and said the star guard needs to leave the Phoenix Suns if he wants to make the most of his career. The comments were a pretty clear tampering violation and led to a $50,000 fine. Shortly after the fine was announced, Green tweeted a bunch of laughing emojis.
That was Green’s first tweet since July 17, so there’s no way the timing was a coincidence. There’s also no way he’s going to sweat a $50,000 fine, as Green signed a four-year, $100 million max extension with Golden State a year ago.
The NBA had no choice but to fine Green, especially after TNT’s Ernie Johnson acknowledged on live TV that Green’s comments about Booker may have constituted tampering. You can see the full on-air exchange here.