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#pounditThursday, January 27, 2022

Draymond Green

Kevin Durant appears to throw shade at former Warriors teammates

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant’s relationship with his old teammates has seemed a bit frosty since he left Golden State, and now we are getting further evidence of that.

The Brooklyn Nets star ‘liked’ an Instagram post this weekend about some comments made by Detroit Pistons veteran Wayne Ellington. The Pistons and the Warriors played each other on Friday, which led to some hostility between Pistons swingman Rodney McGruder and the rest of the Warriors. Durant’s ‘like’ indicated that he agreed with Ellington calling Draymond Green and Klay Thompson “unprofessional” for their role in the incident.

Thompson got a bit personal with his comments about McGruder. Green then piled on with even harsher words in his postgame press conference.

As for Durant, he left Golden State for the Nets in 2019 after winning two NBA titles with the Warriors. Since his departure, Durant has denied that there is beef. But this latest development may be an indication otherwise.

Draymond Green and Wayne Ellington in back-and-forth over Rodney McGruder comments

Draymond Green

A minor shouting match during Saturday night’s game between the Golden State Warriors and Detroit Pistons has turned into quite the back-and-forth between players from both teams.

As both teams headed for the locker room, Detroit’s Rodney McGruder approached Golden State’s Juan Toscano-Anderson, and the two started jawing a bit. Nothing further happened, but Klay Thompson said McGruder was “probably mad” that he “might be out the league soon” on the NBC Sports Bay Area telecast.

Draymond Green took things further after the game, mockingly referring to McGruder as “f–king tough guy Rodney” and adding that “no one scared of no damn Rodney McGruder.”

Green indicated that McGruder was trying to defend teammate Wayne Ellington. Ellington had his say on Sunday, and he was not at all impressed with how Thompson and Green handled the incident. He defended McGruder’s character, said Toscano-Anderson was the one who started everything, and said it was “very unprofessional” to remark on McGruder’s career. He also said that Green’s postgame comments were “fake tough guy stuff.”

The Pistons and Warriors do not meet again this season, so in terms of on-court conflict, this is finished for now. That said, Green is pretty famous for not letting things go, so it’s doubtful he’ll let Ellington have the last word here.

Referees admit ‘mistake’ with Draymond Green ejection

Draymond Green

One of the referees involved in Thursday night’s Golden State Warriors-New York Knicks game admitted that the Draymond Green ejection was a mistake.

Green was ejected late in the second quarter after being called for his second technical foul. He got the tech for yelling at teammate James Wiseman while going down the court.

Referee John Butler thought Green was yelling at him, not Wiseman, and ejected the Warriors forward.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after the game that another referee, Ben Taylor, told him at halftime that it was a “mistake” by Butler to call a tech on Green.

Green has a reputation for racking up technical fouls, which likely hurt him in this instance. The league will likely rescind the technical foul call, but that won’t make up for Green missing half of his team’s 119-104 loss.

Green has complained for years about getting unfair technical fouls. This instance seemed to be proof of his complaint.

Photo: Agência Brasil Fotografias/Flickr via CC-BY 2.0

Report: Damian Lillard has pushed Blazers to trade for Draymond Green

Damian Lillard

There has been some talk that the Golden State Warriors could trade Draymond Green if their season takes a turn for the worse, and it sounds like one Western Conference star would be very eager to see his team make a move.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has privately pushed the organization to make a play for Green, and has been doing so for some time.

“If we were handicapping Draymond trade destinations if the Warriors decided to blow it up…that’s the one,” Amick said on “The Athletic NBA Show,” via Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area. “Damian and his group have for the last couple years been campaigning for that.”

Green and Lillard are close, so this makes sense. Of course, there’s a significant distance between wanting a trade and making it. There’s no indication that Green is set to be traded despite the recent rumors. Even if he is, it’s not clear if the Blazers have what it would take to make that trade, nor is it clear that the Warriors would be eager to trade Green to a Western Conference rival.

The Warriors are 2-1 since Green’s return from injury this season.

Warriors could be open to trading Draymond Green?

Draymond Green

The Golden State Warriors are facing the danger of a second straight losing season, and it may force them to consider a once-unthinkable move.

Speaking this week on his podcast, NBA insider Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports said that the Warriors could put Draymond Green on the trade market if they do not fare well upon Green’s return from injury.

“I’ll say this. If when Draymond comes back, they don’t fare well, we could see a scenario play out where Draymond will be put out on the market for trade bait,” said Haynes. “We could see that, the way this franchise is going.

“I know a team that would, oh my goodness, I know a team that would salivate if that was the case,” Haynes added. “I’m not gonna mention that … I know a team that would be salivating.”

Green, the former Defensive Player of the Year, is a beloved homegrown Warrior who has served as the team’s emotional leader and a centerpiece of their three NBA championships in the last six seasons. But he will soon be 31 and has tailed off in recent years, in part due to injury.

Klay Thompson is out for the season with a second devastating injury, and Steph Curry is himself nearing 33 years of age. Meanwhile, new additions Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre have looked horrifically bad to start. The Warriors are already facing a huge tax bill. If they are paying all that money just to be non-competitive, it would make sense to at least consider moving Green and the roughly $100 million he is still owed.

H/T NBA Reddit

Photo: Agencia Brasil Fotografias/Flickr via CC-BY 2.0

Kevin Durant speaks highly of relationship with Draymond Green despite drama

Kevin Durant

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.

James Wiseman says Draymond Green already gave him blunt warning about NBA

James Wiseman

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.

Draymond Green responds to Anthony Davis suspension calls

Anthony Davis Jae Crowder elbow

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 shares which Warriors championship was most gratifying

Draymond Green

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.

Draymond Green has warning about future of center position

Draymond Green

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.