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.
“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.
The Golden State Warriors front office may have zigged where their star players wanted them to zag.
The Warriors made the surprising decision this week to cut veteran guard Avery Bradley, opting instead to keep their final roster spot empty. Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic reported Sunday that the team thwarted the wishes of Steph Curry and Draymond Green, who were among a group of strong advocates to keep Bradley.
The 30-year-old Bradley did not look particularly strong in preseason play. But he is a respected veteran and former All-Defensive selection who would have given the Warriors some guard depth that they lacked last season.
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.
“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.
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.
Draymond Green is LeBron James’ longtime rival on the court, but Green feels similar to The King in at least one regard.
The Golden State Warriors star responded to one of his fan accounts on social media this week. The fan posted some of Green’s best stat lines from the 2020-21 season, including several triple-doubles or near-triple-doubles.
As for Green, who is close friends with James off the court, he actually had a career-high 8.9 assists per game last season to go along with 7.0 points and 7.1 rebounds. Green also made his fourth All-Defensive First Team and is coming off a gold medal win with Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics. Thus, you should sleep on Green (plus James for that matter) at your own risk.
Kevin Durant and Draymond Green openly had issues with one another before Durant left the Golden State Warriors in 2019, but they have since smoothed things over. Now, they are both essentially blaming the team for how the situation was handled.
In an interview for Bleacher Report’s “Chips” series that was released on Wednesday, Durant and Green discussed the infamous argument they had during the 2018-19 season that led to Green being suspended. The spat happened near the end of an eventual overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, when Durant ripped Green for not passing the ball. Durant said the argument itself was less of an issue than the way the Warriors’ brass handled it.
“It wasn’t the argument. It was the way that everybody … (head coach) Steve Kerr acted like it didn’t happen, (general manager) Bob Meyers tried to just discipline you and think that would put the mask over everything,” Durant said.
“We needed that. We needed to throw all that s— out on the table and say, ‘Yo, Dray, K, that was f—ed up that we even had to go through that. Let’s just wipe our hands of that and go finish the task,'” Durant said. “I don’t think we did that. We tried to dance around it.”
Green then explained how Warriors management told him he needed to apologize, but he wanted to work things out with Durant on his own terms.
“I told them, ‘I’ll talk to (Durant), but y’all aren’t gonna tell me what I need to say.’ … Ultimately, they realized we’re not getting through to him and are gonna try again in the morning,” Green recalled. “We met the next morning and they said, ‘Alright, you slept on it. You ready to apologize?’ I told them right then and there, ‘Y’all are about to f— this up. The only person that can make this right is me and (Durant). There is nothing that y’all can do and y’all are going to f— this up.’ And in my opinion, they f—ed it up.”
The victory marks Green’s second Olympic gold medal to go along with three NBA titles. That puts him in an elite class that is only occupied by players like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan.
Kevin Durant and Draymond Green have a complicated history, but the two NBA stars were quite pleased to come together in bashing their critics after Team USA won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday.
Durant, who scored a game-high 29 points in the United States’ 87-72 win over France, got on Instagram live immediately after the game. He expressed disbelief that many analysts ranked Team USA as the fourth-best team in Tokyo. Green joined the video and called out Kendrick Perkins, who has been critical of Team USA in recent weeks like many others.
You can see the video below, but beware that it contains inappropriate language:
“They had some power rankings out, they had us fourth behind Slovenia,” Durant said. “Talking about (how) they’re catching up to us. Are you serious? This skill is unmatched.”
“Kendrick Perkins, you talk a lot of s—, a lot of s—,” Green added. “Act like you American.”
You can understand why the fourth consecutive gold medal for Team USA felt sweet for the players. They struggled early on and lost to France in the group stage, which led to them being ruthlessly mocked with Twitter memes. They also lost two exhibition games prior to the actual tournament, which had many anticipating an early exit in Tokyo.
Draymond Green basically runs on a lack of respect. Sometimes, he even finds it from his team’s social media folks.
The Golden State Warriors posted a slideshow of notable shots from rookie photoshoots over the years. The images included those of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, as well as more recent rookie portraits from Jordan Poole and Eric Paschall. Notably missing was Green — notably to him, anyway, because he called it out in the comments.
Green is definitely among the core members of the Golden State dynasty who, like Curry and Thompson, has been with the team since entering the NBA. This clearly wasn’t about that, though. They were trying to spotlight some cool pictures. It’s why Curry and Thompson were featured alongside the likes of Jordan Bell.
The Golden State Warriors veteran just complained on Shaq’s podcast that the NBA doesn’t do enough to protect players in fan incidents. Now he’s jumping on their case when arena personnel step in to protect players? It makes no sense.
You can’t ask for a league where nobody bothers the players and then complain when security tries to protect.
Draymond loves to look and talk tough, but it all comes crashing down when someone points out the hypocrisy.