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#pounditSaturday, August 13, 2022

Draymond Green

Draymond Green fires back at Karl-Anthony Towns over Westbrook criticism

Draymond Green during practice

Western Conference: Civil War appears to be officially upon us.

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns caused a stir this week with comments about L.A. Lakers guard Russell Westbrook. Towns said that he thinks Westbrook chases statistics and explained his reasoning why.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green did not take too kindly to Towns’ opinion. Commenting on an Instagram video of Towns’ remarks, Green essentially called Towns a hypocrite.

“I once watched from the bench due to us beating the Twolves a– (profanity edited by LBS) and he was in the game down 20 with 2 mins to go,” Green said of Towns. “Come on man. Stop talking to people about the ‘bros’ and yelling this is a ‘brotherhood’. SMH.”

The argument could indeed be made that Towns himself is a “good stats, bad team” guy. He has averaged 23.0 points and 11.4 rebounds per game but has only ever made the playoffs once (losing in the first round in 2018). But Minnesota’s losing ways seem to be more tied to organizational dysfunction than to Towns.

In any case, Green is casting doubt here on the credibility of the speaker. But that alone does not make Towns’ criticism of Westbrook any less valid. In fact, Towns is far from the only NBA player who believes that Westbrook pads his numbers.

Photo: Feb 20, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) stands on the court before the game against the Houston Rockets at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Draymond Green gave Klay Thompson a real kick in the balls after torn ACL

Draymond Green during practice

Draymond Green added insult to injury after Klay Thompson tore his ACL.

Thompson suffered a torn ACL during Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, which the Golden State Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors. The Warriors lost those Finals in six games and were doubly disappointed. Not only did they lose the series, but both Thompson and Kevin Durant suffered serious injuries during the playoffs.

Green, who is a longtime teammate of Thompson, went to visit his injured friend the day after the series ended.

According to Green, he wanted to try to take Thompson’s mind off the injury. They ended up playing dominoes, and Green says he won $4,000 off Thompson.

Green shared the story for NBC Sports Bay Area.

Well, that is one way to take someone’s mind off an injury and the Finals.

Green says that Thompson hasn’t forgotten about the matter and reminds him of it. How could he not?

Thompson suffered a torn Achilles tendon while trying to return from his torn ACL and hasn’t played since 2019. He’s getting close to finally returning this season.

Photo: Feb 20, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) stands on the court before the game against the Houston Rockets at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Draymond Green has warning for Klay Thompson ahead of his return

Draymond Green during practice

Draymond Green thinks that Klay Thompson could be in for a bit of a rude awakening after two-and-a-half years out of NBA action.

The Golden State Warriors star Green spoke with reporters this week and gave a warning for Thompson ahead of Thompson’s much-awaited return.

“It’s funny because me and [teammate Kevon Looney] will joke about the positioning in the NBA today,” he said, per The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “We joke with Klay. Like, ‘Klay, this ain’t the NBA you left, brother. You coming back, you gonna be a stretch 4.’ It’s the way this league works now.

“Point guards that were kinda hybrid guards, they are now 4s … maybe a 3,” added Green. “They’re aren’t point guards now. It isn’t the same league.”

Green’s here to Thompson here is obviously a bit in jest, but there is definitely truth to it. On Monday night against the Sacramento Kings, the Warriors went with a late lineup of three traditional guards (Steph Curry, Gary Payton II, and Damion Lee) to go along with Green and Otto Porter Jr. Before he got hurt, the 6-foot-6 Thompson already played a decent amount of small forward. It would not be too surprising to see him move up a spot to the 4, especially so he doesn’t have to chase speedy wings upon returning.

The ex-All-Star Thompson appears to be nearing a specific return date. But Green thinks that he should probably keep his head on a swivel because the game could look a lot different from the last time that Thompson played it.

Photo: Feb 20, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) stands on the court before the game against the Houston Rockets at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Draymond Green has suggestion for Thunder players after record loss

Draymond Green during practice

The Oklahoma City Thunder had a historically-bad loss on Thursday night, and Draymond Green has a suggestion for a consequence.

The Golden State Warriors forward sent a tweet suggesting that the players need to be fined for such a poor effort.

Green is right that such a penalty is in order. The Thunder lost 152-79 to the Memphis Grizzlies. The 72-point margin is the largest in NBA history. It marks the worst loss since 1991.

The Thunder were without their top scorer in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but that’s no excuse. They were playing a Memphis team without Ja Morant.

OKC may be “rebuilding,” but that is no excuse. They still have pros on their team and should have enough pride to prevent opponents from setting records on them. We actually have an even better idea for discipline instead of what Draymond suggested.

Photo: Feb 20, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) stands on the court before the game against the Houston Rockets at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Draymond Green has savage addition to roast of Kevin Durant

Draymond Green during practice

If there is one guy who knows what makes Kevin Durant tick, it is definitely Draymond Green. Thus, you knew that Green was not going to miss out on an opportunity to join the Internet in ridiculing his favorite frenemy.

In a recent episode of his self-titled weekly podcast for The Volume, the Golden State Warriors star Green had a savage reaction to the recent viral photo of Durant. The former MVP Durant was photographed at an angle that revealed his extremely dry and ashy legs, and Twitter went in on him with some funny memes. On his podcast, Green added on to the mix.

“Jesus Christ, K,” said Green. “[Miami Heat center] Bam [Adebayo] sent me the picture and said, ‘There’s no way K is this ashy.’ And I said, ‘What the f—?’ And then I clicked on the link that Bam sent me. That wasn’t even ash. That was f—ing scales. It looked like you could go f—ing skin him like an alligator and take it to the store and sell it. That’s how bad it was.”

Ouch! Bonus points to Green as well for the subtle reference to Durant’s reputation as a “snake” with the “scales” line.

Green and Durant had some very public feuds during their time as Warriors teammates, so these comments coming from Green have to especially sting. But if Green enrages Durant to the point that he finally picks up a bottle of lotion, it will all have been worth it.

Photo: Feb 20, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) stands on the court before the game against the Houston Rockets at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Draymond Green tried to start beef with former coach for no reason

Draymond Green during practice

Draymond Green seemed to be just itching to start some drama on Friday.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich gave a line for the ages this week when asked what the key to his success over all these years was. The Golden State Warriors star Green loved Popovich’s quote and tweeted, “Gotta love Pop” with a bunch of laughing-face emojis.

Former New Orleans Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy replied to Green’s tweet by writing, “Humility.”

It was pretty clear that Van Gundy was referring to Popovich’s humility in giving the credit for his success to others. But for some inexplicable reason, Green interpreted Van Gundy’s tweet as a shot at him. Green replied by saying, “Appreciate the advice Champ.”

This was probably a subtle dig at Van Gundy, who has not yet won an NBA championship while Green himself has three. Van Gundy then clarified the obvious by saying that he was talking about Popovich’s humility.

There does not appear to be any prior history between Green and Van Gundy, which makes Green’s attempt to drum up beef all the more head-scratching. Maybe Green is just used to blaming coaches for everything.

Photo: Feb 20, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) stands on the court before the game against the Houston Rockets at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Draymond Green explains what went wrong on stunning play against Hornets

Draymond Green jumping for the ball

Draymond Green found himself as a toppled Goliath during Sunday’s game. Now he is explaining how it happened.

Green’s Golden State Warriors were trailing the Charlotte Hornets by two points with 25.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Possession belonged to the Hornets, but Green was able to trap Hornets guard Terry Rozier at halfcourt and force a jump ball.

Many obviously expected the 6-foot-6 Green to easily win the jump over the 6-foot-1 Rozier … and many were wrong. Lo and behold, Rozier won the tap over Green, forcing the Warriors to foul. Rozier then hit his two free throws, and the Hornets won 106-102. The loss was just the second of the season for Golden State and snapped a seven-game winning streak.

Take a look at the unexpected play.

After the game, Green offered an explanation. He said that he was distracted on the jump ball because the referee, David Guthrie, was still talking and the ball went up fast. Green did add though that he still should have won the tap and took responsibility.

“It’s not his fault,” said Green, per ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “That’s on me.”

The Hornets climbed back above .500 with the victory, which was their third straight. As for Green and the Warriors, this probably brings back some bad memories. Last year, they were also involved in a crucial jump ball against Charlotte that did not go their way.

Steve Kerr addresses Draymond Green-Jordan Poole exchange

Draymond Green gets restrained

Steve Kerr downplayed an incident between two of his players that drew some attention this week.

Draymond Green and Jordan Poole were seen having a heated exchange during a break in the action during the Golden State Warriors’ 123-110 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Green had seven points in 21 minutes during the game. Poole shot 5/17 and 2/11 on threes in the victory and scored 14 points.

On Thursday, Kerr said the conflict was already resolved and had become a non-issue.

“They hashed it out afterwards,” Kerr said. “82 games, stuff like that happens. It’s behind us.”

Kerr defended Green as well, saying that the veteran’s passion and attitude are in the right place.

Green has always been a fiery player who is unafraid to get in his teammates’ faces. Sometimes it pays off, like it may have in this case. Other times, it has some serious consequences.

Draymond Green appears to respond to bombshell Robert Sarver-Suns story

Draymond Green during practice

Draymond Green is taking some time to offer an apparent response to the bombshell story about Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver.

ESPN’s Baxter Holmes published a long-awaited piece Thursday detailing the culture in the Suns organization during Sarver’s 17-year tenure as owner. The piece, which contained interviews with over 70 current and former Suns employees, had many allegations of racism and misogyny on Sarver’s part.

The Golden State Warriors All-Star Green was mentioned specifically in the story. He was the subject of an anecdote from 2016 when the Warriors beat the Suns in a regular season game and Sarver proceeded to approach then-Phoenix coach Earl Watson.

Per Holmes:

After the loss, Suns majority owner Robert Sarver entered the coaches locker room, Watson told ESPN.

“You know, why does Draymond Green get to run up the court and say [N-word],” Sarver, who is white, allegedly said, repeating the N-word several times in a row.

“You can’t say that,” Watson, who is Black and Hispanic, told Sarver.

“Why?” Sarver replied. “Draymond Green says [N-word].”

“You can’t f—ing say that,” Watson said again.

For his part, Sarver disputed Watson’s characterization of the incident.

“This is absolutely untrue,” he said. “I remember the game and topic clearly. I, of course, never used the word myself. During this conversation, I said ‘N-word’ without saying the full word. The word itself never crossed my lips. Let me be crystal clear: I never once suggested on that night (or ever) that I should be able to say the N-word because a player or a Black person uses it.”

Sarver and his lawyers added that Sarver did not have that conversation with Watson but did have one with a Suns player who received a technical foul during the game for what they said was the use of the N-word. Sarver contended that he encouraged the player to appeal the technical foul because Green had used the word during the game. The league later rescinded the technical foul against the player.

Holmes’ article, which contains several other allegations about Sarver’s tenure (as well as Sarver’s responses), is worth reading in its entirety.

After the article was released, Green appeared to react to it on Twitter.

“But I was fined?? Lol smh,” said Green. “Sometimes you have to see deeper than the surface. Always layers…”

Green appears to be referring to the time that he was fined for saying on TNT that Suns guard Devin Booker needed to get out of Phoenix. Booker and the Suns went on to make the Finals last season, but Green clearly believes that his point still stands.

As for Sarver, we knew for weeks that this story was coming. It remains to be seen though what, if any, action the NBA will take in response to it.

Photo: Feb 20, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) stands on the court before the game against the Houston Rockets at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Damian Lillard ‘obsessed’ with bringing one star player to Blazers

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard recently reassured Portland Trail Blazers fans that he has given no thought to requesting a trade. He has, however, spoken openly about wanting the team to improve the roster around him, and the star point guard apparently has a plan in mind for how the Blazers can do that.

During a Wednesday appearance on the “HoopsHype Podcast,” Anthony Slater of The Athletic said Lillard is hung up on the idea of Draymond Green joining him in Portland.

“The Blazers would love to have him,” Slater said, via Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report. “Lillard has been obsessed with getting him there for a while.”

There have been trade rumors involving Green dating back to last year, but the Golden State Warriors have given no indication that they intend to move him. Green is signed through next season and has a $27 million player option for 2023-24. The Warriors also appear to be rounding back into form, as they are off to a 5-1 start and will be getting Klay Thompson back from injury soon.

But if Golden State does decide to entertain the idea of moving Green, their first call should be the Portland. Green and Lillard showed at the Tokyo Olympics that they have a close relationship. Lillard said Green gave him a pep talk after he passed up a shot he would normally take, and the Blazers star played much better after that.

There have been indications that Green’s relationship with Steve Kerr and the Warriors’ brass isn’t all that strong. That’s likely just because of how outspoken Green is. As of now, there’s no reason to think Lillard is going to get his wish.