Draymond Green opens up about why hecklers motivate him, the Warriors’ opportunities and his Hall of Fame case


WASHINGTON — Monday brought a break to the Warriors’ bizarre regular season. Golden StateTerrible on the road so far and short-handed, he came to Washington for a two-day layover, and played wizards Monday after that Return to the White House For the first time since 2016 to meet a president. Of course, the math reminds us that the Dubs have won four NBA championships since 2015, but… You all know what’s going on In this city since then, right? So this was our first time partying with Washington’s political elite (hurray?) for most of the current slate, off Stephen CurryAnd Clay ThompsonAnd Andre Iguodala And Draymond Green.


For three quarters on Monday, the Warriors looked exactly like the kind of uninterested team, with a . 500 level barely clinging to a top-eight spot in the West. The Wizards, an idea no one had of an opponent, managed to get any shots they wanted, led by seven in the third quarter and looked poised to send the Dubs to their 18th loss in 22 road games, and continue their dreadful away play. from Chase Center.

Then, a couple of Wizards fans are seated at the base I’m starting to annoy Green.. And suddenly, Game 4 of the NBA Finals was in Boston this past June.

You remember that game. Green was awful in the previous game, though Celtics Fans tease him all the time by saying, “F-you, Draymond!” Hymns from the opening party. He wasn’t much better in Game 4, so, with his team trailing 2-1 in the series, Steve Kerr benched Green for much of the fourth quarter — a period you’ve got to get. Kerr put Green back on the ground in the final two minutes, and Green made some big plays down the stretch. But it was Curry’s other 43-point night that saved Golden State’s bacon and tied the series.

However, the green rebounded Being once again one of the best players on a star-studded pitch in Game 5, leading Golden State to the pivotal win that turned the series in its favour.

So, what happened on Monday was not unprecedented. Suddenly, Green was everywhere, leading in half of the classic four-on-three court that had been created by Curry’s mere presence on the ground for the Warriors for nearly a decade, Tailgate hit Anthony Lamb for a layupdiving himself for a layup, and tapping the ball Jordan Paul On an offensive rebound to clinch the game 3 in the final minutes – and improbably, he made 2 3 of his own, raising his percentage for the season behind the arc to a not-so-strong 32.5.

“Everyone on our team heard the guy on the bench talk,” Green said afterwards. “And everyone, including our coach, was like, Draymond, shut him up.”

But the need for this spark speaks of the boredom of the defending champions in the next season, waiting for the post-season. The Warriors are nowhere near a ready-made title. Just missiles And spurs It has a worse defensive rating on the road than Golden State. James Wisemanin which Dubs invested a lot, spent a month in the G League, played well, but did not return it to the parent club. Jamical Green, who was supposed to take some slack from the departure of free agent Otto Porter, has not played since December 18 due to an injury. No one replaced the defensive deactivation of Gary Payton IInow in Portland.

Greene’s future with the Warriors is, to say the least, up in the air. He can sign up for the final year of his contract, at $27.5 million, for 2023-24. But if he chooses to, there’s no reason for the Golden State sensation to bring him back. The Warriors gave Paul, who Greene punched into it Notorious boot camp beef during exercise, The big bag Four years and $128 million, starting next season. Joe Lacob has made it clear that he will not continue to pay the historic luxury tax in the future. At 32 years old, Green’s future has never looked bleaker, even as he recalled his old two-way supremacy as it did on Monday.

But that leaves the rest of this season, in a packed Western Conference Very good teams but hardly intimidating On the top. Could Green be great again, at the time when it matters most – and if he’s out, come up with a fifth title?

The following interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

Why does Rando bother talking to you so much?

It didn’t necessarily bother me. He was talking the whole time. So this was not in particular. Those were just some of the things he was saying. He was talking about the Hall of Fame, he was talking about scoring. “Draymond, you’re afraid.” He told me that I was afraid. I think that put me off more than anything else. When he said, “Oh, you’re scared,” I was like, “Scared?” We’re here playing the Washington Wizards, on a quiet Monday, and the games you played in, I’m afraid? Why does this game scare me? 3 p.m. on Monday. Game 42. It’s not even a national television game, let alone a major game. So, I guess that probably turns me on more than anything else.

Hall of Fame thing, you can say whatever you want. The way I thought about the Hall of Fame thing was if you come into this game, and you immediately start talking to me about being a Hall of Famer, you probably think I’m a Hall of Famer. Because you didn’t come to talk to anyone else about being a Hall of Famer. We know Steph’s a Hall of Famer. So why did you come to talk to me about it? There must be something there. It was telling me I was afraid that triggered me.

If you get into the Hall of Fame, and you probably will, it will be for something very different than scoring goals, anyway.

And that’s what I’ve always said. I think I will be – and I hope I will be – in the Hall of Fame. But my path will not be the usual one. You’re not going to go look at my stats and say, “This guy is a confirmed Hall of Famer.” But if you know the game of basketball, and you look at the game of basketball, I think I have a case. That’s kind of how I look at it. No, my path to the Hall of Fame will not be the usual path men take to the Hall of Fame. And I still have work to do and keep building, but I think I can do a solid job.

Every season is different, Kerr said, and that’s definitely been weird for all of you so far. Do you have to rely more on the institutional memory that you, Steve, Clay and Kevon have created during this run, so that whatever the circumstances of the season, you’ll figure it out in time?

yes I do. And I always trusted that, because the truth is, it never let us down. But I also understand that we have to build habits. I understand we have to keep figuring things out. When you’re able to figure that out, you have transition plays, you have transition rosters, you have all of those things, transition matches. And so, we’re still figuring out all of those things. The fact of the matter is, we still have some learning about this group to do. We still have some teamwork to continue building. But in saying that, what we understand and what we believe is, if and when we do these things, we know what it takes. Not many other people in this league really know what it takes.

But last year, you had Otto, you had a vet — you had vets who could get their foot in each of the worlds of your list, you know? How do you find it now?

It’s funny, because we were talking the other day, and I was telling Jordan, “Your influence is bigger than you think.” When you talk about a bridge between young men and experienced men, you are that guy who can understand and relate to both. I use the word “awesome”. All these guys probably think you’re cooler than all of us. But this is important. And so, I think it is. I think it must be him, and I think it will be him.

Is there anyone to help him with that, or is this an elevator?

I think this is the elevator. I think we, as vets, have to help him with that. But I think that’s the elevator. This takes time to find out. When is Jordan in and what is its fourth year? It’s not like he’s in the eighth or ninth year. This test started out as your first driving test, and this is to tie that together. It takes time to develop this role. But we have to help him with that.

When you look out West, are you encouraged that no one has really taken over the conference yet at the halfway point, or is it a challenge, because anyone can get hot in time for the playoffs?

I think that raises our voice more than anything else. There is a right for us to go and take it. We do what we have to do; It’s more about us. That’s what he’s telling me – that it’s more about us than anyone else.

(Photo by Draymond Green: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

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