OAKLAND — The Golden State Warriors lead the NBA in technical fouls and general manager Bob Myers addressed the situation after shootaround on Thursday.
“I think we all need to do a better job of staying poised,” head coach Steve Kerr said before the Warriors’ 121-103 win over the Dallas Mavericks. “I don’t like the look of the constant complaining, myself included. I think we have to get better with that.”
The meeting happened around the same time Draymond Green was fined $50,000 by the league for “directing inappropriate and offensive language toward a game official” during Tuesday’s beatdown at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Green received a tech for extending a conversation with Lauren Holtkamp heading into halftime. He was trying to show her his bleeding mouth, for which he needed dental work on Wednesday.
Green was ejected from that game for getting another tech in the second half. He received No. 14 on the season against the Mavs. He’s now two shy of triggering an automatic one-game suspension.
“He plays at the edge,” veteran forward David West explained. “It’s just one of those things. Some nights there are officials that take a little bit more than others.”
Thursday’s crew was decidedly in the “won’t take it more than others” group. After Green was called for a delay of game, he waved at the official, expressing his displeasure with the warning.
That’ll cost him $2,000 (and when you take into account the fine and the $500 copay for the dental work, it was an expensive day).
In typical Draymond fashion, he had an explanation that was parts insightful, funny and defensive.
“You lay the ball up and you’re standing under the rim, it’s probably going to hit you. It’s just like physics. My body, it’s a solid. Nothing is going to shoot through me, it’s not a video game,” he said. “… Maybe I should’ve missed the layup like I missed the rest of them. Then it wouldn’t have hit me. Then I wouldn’t have gotten a delay of game. Then I wouldn’t have been told I threw an air punch, and that’s why I got a tech. So I don’t know. I’ll try to miss more layups.”
Validity of Green’s excuses aside, the Warriors have a problem. Both in official-relations and in the optics, and they know it.
“It’s not a good look and we need to look more professional, act more professional and to be more poised,” Kerr said. “We need to represent our team in a better light. I don’t think we have been doing a good job of that lately.
(It should be noted that the issue isn’t unique to the players and coaches. Owner Joe Lacob spiked his jacket after Holtkamp made one of the worst calls of the year on Tuesday.)
Green will have to walk a fine line for the rest of the season. He’s not new to that reality. And in the meantime, he’s going to look at the positives. When asked about deteriorating player-official relations on Thursday, he shrugged it off and shared a heart-warming story about his son, Draymond Jr.
— jacob c. palmer (@jacobc_palmer) February 9, 2018
(If the video doesn’t load for you, the basic point of his story was that his son walked further than he ever had before. It took some encouragement, but he made it from the parking lot to the family room of Oracle Arena on his own feet for the first time in his young life.)
Fans should be happy that Draymond is finding positives off the court. And with a little time away from it next week, he should be back to form.
But the goal is for him to do that while heeding Myers’ message from earlier in the day.
“Just play the game,” Kevin Durant described the thesis of the speech. “Just worry about each possession and try to be the best we can each possession. Try to win the possession.”
Getting Green and the Warriors to find peace with the officials is going to take time. And it’s probably going to require some baby steps.