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#pounditSunday, November 28, 2021

Draymond Green

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.

Draymond Green reveals why he is enjoying NBA more this season

Draymond Green during practice

The NBA has implemented new rules this season that make it more difficult for offensive players to draw fouls, and that has led to some frustration among elite scorers. Draymond Green, however, believes the change has drastically improved the game.

After the Golden State Warriors’ 103-82 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, Green said he has enjoyed NBA basketball as both a player and spectator much more this season. He attributed that to the league doing away with “bulls— calls.”

“Can I say how satisfying it is to watch the game without all those terrible calls,” Green said, via ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “Guys cheating the game and grabbing guys and getting the foul. I’ve been really enjoying watching basketball this year.

“I think this game was turning into who can draw the most fouls? Nobody wants to watch that and you definitely don’t want to play in a game like that,” Green said. “So you can feel the difference out there for sure. It’s just more pure basketball and that’s great for our game.”

The response to the rule changes has been mixed. Green is known for his defense and is a former Defensive Player of the Year, so his stance is hardly a surprise. Scorers like Trae Young have seen their free throw attempts drastically decrease in the early part of the year. Young recently revealed a strategy he has to deal with the new rules.

It’s too early to say if the changes have improved the game, but Green isn’t the only one who appreciates them.

Draymond Green makes surprising revelation about Warriors’ past struggles

Draymond Green

For many years, Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors absolutely fire-grilled the rest of the NBA. Now Green is revealing the effect that the Warriors then suddenly becoming the worst team in the league had on him.

In an interview this week with Logan Murdock of The Ringer, Green made the surprising revelation that he lost his passion for the game during the team’s struggles in the 2019-20 season.

“I wasn’t interested in the game,” said the former Defensive Player of the Year. “It was just a totally different situation that I was dealing with for the first time in my life on top of the abruptness of it. You couldn’t have told me three months before that I would go from the best team ever to the f—ing worst team in the NBA. It was frustrating. And it was also a mind f—.

“You’re walking in these arenas and four years you’ve been like, ‘We’re going to go win.’ Wow you’re walking in and there’s actually no chance we win this game,” Green went on. “Not only do you know you’re going to get your a– kicked, but the other team knows they’re going to kick your a– and they’re not even taking you seriously.”

The Warriors made five straight Finals from 2015 to 2019 with three of those appearances resulting in NBA championships. But the months after their last appearance saw Kevin Durant leave for Brooklyn, Klay Thompson sidelined with an ACL tear, and Stephen Curry break his hand just days into the new season. As a result, Green was the last man standing on a depleted roster that went on to finish an NBA-worst 15-50.

Fortunately for Green, Golden State is back on the come-up now with Curry returning to MVP-caliber form and Thompson finally due back from injury this season. So even if Green briefly found himself feasting on humble pie, it is obvious that some of his trademark braggadocio is slowly returning.

Steve Kerr reacts to Draymond Green, Kevin Durant blaming him for their beef

Steve Kerr

Draymond Green and Kevin Durant recently fired off some shots at Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr over the degradation of their relationship as teammates. For his part though, Kerr is leaving that one alone.

Kerr appeared this week on “The TK Show” with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. Kawakami asked Kerr about the sitdown interview Green and Durant had in which they blamed Kerr and Warriors management for mishandling their beef. Kerr reacted by brushing the question aside.

“I’m going to chalk this one up [to the fact] that I recognize that you have to ask that question,” said Kerr. “And by the same token, I don’t have to answer it. So we’re going to move on to the next question.”

Green and Durant had an infamous blow-up during a game against the LA Clippers in 2018 when they were still teammates on the Warriors. Durant cited the incident as a major influence behind his decision to leave Golden State that offseason. Both players blamed Kerr and Warriors GM Bob Myers for bungling the aftermath of the episode. You can read their reasoning here.

Kerr probably can’t say much in response, especially since Green is still one of his players. But blaming everybody except themselves for their own feud was a pretty bad look for both Green and Durant, even if Kerr won’t say it.

H/T ClutchPoints

Report: ESPN interested in hiring Draymond Green

Draymond Green

ESPN already has a number of former NBA players appearing on their network, but now they could be going after a current one as well.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported on Thursday that ESPN is interested in hiring Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green for their “NBA Countdown” show. Green would only be available on occasion however as an active player.

The former Defensive Player of the Year Green has already dipped his toe into television. He has made guest appearances on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” and even joined CNN as a contributor last year.

Still, Green once got fined for something he said on TV. If he wants a shot with ESPN, he may have to be a bit more careful with his choice of words.