Draymond Green is a fighter, that much is apparent to anyone who’s watched the forward over the years. But is that a virtue for a basketball player, or something much more problematic?
It remains unclear, but ESPN’s Golden State Warriors staff writer Ethan Sherwood Strauss — who, like the team he covers, is one of the best in the NBA — wrote a piece, published on Wednesday, that takes a deep look at Green and his effect on the Dubs over the years.
The thesis: The team’s chances of winning multiple titles rests on his shoulders, which could prove to be a precarious place to be.
The story is absolutely worth a read and expands on a few turning points of last season, when the Warriors won an NBA-best 73 games.
The piece contends head coach Steve Kerr and Green have been at loggerheads for some time and that as the All-Star’s profile grows, the coach’s struggles to contain him compound.
The most revealing piece expands on Green’s halftime tirade in February in Oklahoma City that was reported by ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters and became a topic of discussion for columnists across the country.
“I’m standing outside the locker room with the Oklahoma City police, which are always stationed outside of every locker room,” Salters will later recall. “They kind of moved me aside, and the officer just kind of stood by the door, with his hand on his weapon like he was trying to determine what he should do. It was clear that something bad was about to happen in this locker room. We’ve never heard anything like this before.”
Salters, with all of 50 seconds available for her report, had, in truth, conveyed only a fraction of the situation — one so unnerving that at least one arena security official moved outside the locker room door in a SWAT-team pose. Throughout the night, Salters would be assailed by fans on Twitter, arguing that she should not have reported what had happened in the locker room. But this was not a private moment unscrupulously divulged to the public; it was a private moment so forceful it breached the walls of its sanctum. “This was something extraordinary that was happening,” Salters says.
(READ MORE: ESPN)
(Personal aside: What did the guy in “a SWAT-team pose” think he was going to accomplish? That’s just more grounds for moving the Thunder back to Seattle, in my opinion.)
Another piece worth considering further: Former Golden State forward Marreese Speights confessing that Green and shooting guard Klay Thompson’s relationship was far from rosy.
Speights says in the piece: “Draymond’s a good guy, but I think at the end of the day, it hurt the whole chemistry of the year.”
He continued to point out one player in particular who struggled with Green’s abrasive style: “Draymond and Klay got into it a lot.”
This story will only make the narrative that the Warriors are embarking on a Season of Villainy even stronger.
In conclusion, it’s going to be a really exciting NBA season if Green takes this story and the impending backlash to heart and goes for revenge against some nebulous idea that everyone is against him.