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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Draymond Green

Kevin Durant admits he started ‘isolating’ himself after Draymond Green feud

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant has admitted that his highly publicized feud with Draymond Green was a factor in his decision to leave the Golden State Warriors in free agency, and the injured Brooklyn Nets star opened up about that situation more this week.

Durant was a guest on Showtime’s “All the Smoke” with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, and he spoke a lot about his time in Golden State and why it came to an end. Durant admitted that he was taken aback by Green’s reaction after K.D. expressed frustration with Green for not passing him the ball near the end of an eventual overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last season.

Beware that the clip contains some inappropriate language.

“Then he started coming off the top with all of that stuff and I’m just thinking, Draymond is actually my friend,” Durant said. “He’s somebody I can call when I’m going through anything like, ‘Yo, come through. Let’s hang out tonight.’ For him to say that s— to me just kind of threw me for a loop. I started isolating myself after that.”

Durant was referring to Green telling him the Warriors don’t need him and won before K.D. arrived in Golden State. Durant said he took that personally since he considered Green a friend, and the Warriors chose to sweep it under the rug rather than hash things out and move forward.

“Me and him sat down and talked about it,” Durant said. “I gave him my piece and he told me how he felt about it, but it happened in front of the whole team. Everybody saw it.”

Ironically, Green is the same guy who called K.D. to deliver the opposite message after Golden State lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. Green played a huge role in recruiting Durant to the Warriors, which is why Durant felt so betrayed when Green treated him like an outsider.

Of course, Durant also has notoriously thin skin. He’s been known to defend himself on social media and even admitted to creating a burner account to do so, so it’s no surprise he took Green’s remarks so personally.

Charles Barkley takes shot at Draymond Green for averaging ‘triple-single’

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley said in the past that the only negative comments he has ever made about Draymond Green have to do with the Golden State Warriors star’s attitude, but Barkley can no longer safely claim that.

Like the Warriors as a whole, Green is having a down season this year without Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson by his side. Many thought his stats would receive a significant boost with Durant gone and Curry and Thompson recovering from injuries, but that has not happened. Barkley took a shot at Green over his numbers during the TNT broadcast on Thursday night when he said, “Draymond don’t talk as much now that he’s averaging a triple-single.”

Shaq loved the joke and asked Barkley to repeat it, and of course Chuck obliged.

Barkley and Green have had a long-running feud that came to a head when Barkley said he wants somebody to punch Draymond in the face because of the way Green complains about foul calls. The two later had a pleasant interaction on live TV during the NBA playoffs, with Barkley saying he has never made any negative remarks about Green’s game. With Green averaging 8.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game for the 9-33 Warriors, Barkley couldn’t resist kicking the big man while he’s down.

Steve Kerr says Draymond Green looks ‘tired’

Draymond Green

Draymond Green is the last man standing of the Golden State Warriors’ dynasty, and head coach Steve Kerr can see the toll that it is taking on him.

Addressing the media this weekend after a loss to the Detroit Pistons, Kerr commented on the former Defensive Player of the Year’s energy level.

“I think the last couple of games, he’s looked tired,” said Kerr, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “You have to remember that he’s the lone holdover from the team that’s been to the Finals five years in a row. He looks tired to me.

“I think he’s kind of worn out, emotionally and physically,” Kerr added.

Green, who is one of the most energetic and emotional players in the league, was ejected in the third quarter against Detroit for mocking an official and walked straight to the locker room unceremoniously. He is listed as out for Monday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with a sprained right ankle.

The Warriors’ deep postseason runs of the last half-decade have indeed put significant tread on Green’s tires — he appeared in 100, 104, 93, 91, and 88 games over the past five years, including playoff action. The three-time All-Star has also tacked on another 27 games this season.

While Green insists that he has not yet hit his peak, he will turn 30 in March, and the wear-and-tear is slowly becoming apparent.

Draymond Green hilariously jokes about Warriors’ two-game winning streak

Draymond Green

The Golden State Warriors have been doing a lot more losing this season than Draymond Green is accustomed to, so he is taking his wins wherever he can.

After the Warriors downed the Minnesota Timberwolves 113-104 on Monday night to win consecutive games for the first time all year, the former Defensive Player of the Year joked about their “streak.”

“It feels f—ing amazing,” said Green, per Nick Friedell of ESPN. “I never thought I would be so excited for two regular-season wins in my life.”

After making the NBA Finals in each of the last five seasons, it is a new era in Golden State with Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant gone and Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson injured. Green has been the last man standing of sorts, and the Warriors are a Western Conference-worst 7-24, even despite the winning streak.

The three-time champion was talking a lot of smack, even as recently as last summer, so now he knows what it is like to have the shoe on the other foot.

Warriors reportedly starting Draymond Green at point guard

Draymond Green

The Golden State Warriors are struggling and decimated by injuries, so they’re trying something different Sunday night.

According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, the Warriors will start Draymond Green at the point guard position against the New Orleans Pelicans as part of a bigger lineup.

Positionless basketball is increasingly prevalent these days, so Green will probably wind up playing different roles. If the implication is that he will wind up being the team’s primary ballhandler, it’s an interesting wrinkle for a team desperately trying to find something that works. Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell, who would typically handle such duties, are both injured for at least a few weeks, at least in Russell’s case.

Green insists he has more room to grow as an NBA player. Becoming a competent lead ballhandler would certainly prove him right.

Draymond Green promises he has not yet reached his peak

Draymond Green

Draymond Green is 29 and in his eighth season in the NBA, and he says he still has room to grow and improve. In fact, Green believes he still has not hit his peak as a basketball player.

Green spoke with ESPN’s Sam Alipour for an article that talked about Green’s business interests owning some fitness gyms in Michigan and the Midwest. In the article, Green said he gave up shots to accommodate the Golden State Warriors’ acquisition of Kevin Durant. While that cost him a role on the team as a scorer, it helped the team win championships, so he says the trade was worth it. But without Durant around, Green has been working on his game and says he is still ascending as a player.

“I’m definitely not at my peak. I have so much room to grow, new heights that I can reach — like becoming a 40% 3-point shooter. That’d be amazing, right? My shooting dropped off the last couple of seasons, but it’s tough when you’re taking only two or three 3s a game. My percentages were a lot higher when I took more,” Green says.

The numbers actually are inconsistent with Green’s claim about his percentages being higher when he takes more threes. In his best season, 2015-2016, Green made 38.8 percent of his threes on 3.2 attempts per game. For his career, he’s made 32.2 percent on threes. And he’s only making 28.6 percent of them this season.

We love Green’s desire to improve and the confidence he expresses in himself, but we doubt his ability to reach this particular goal year-in and year-out.

Watch: Draymond Green becomes first player ever ejected from Chase Center

Draymond Green

Congratulations are in order for Draymond Green, who earned a very worthy distinction on Monday night.

Green became the first player ever ejected from Chase Center when he was tossed from the Golden State Warriors-Utah Jazz game in the fourth quarter. Green was upset with being called for a reach-in foul and received two technicals, which triggered the automatic ejection.

Green was playing his first contest since missing five games due to a finger sprain. He had four points, seven rebounds, and four assists in 22 minutes before being ejected.

The Warriors’ woes continue. They’re now 2-9 following the loss and are 1-5 at their new home in San Francisco. The team has been playing without Steph Curry, who said before the game that he expects to return from a broken hand in the spring.