Well, it looks like the Golden State Warriors are like every other successful franchise that has ever became a powerhouse. And to be fair, this isn’t shocking news as we’ve seen teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat have similar issues — if not worse in some cases, since 2000. However, the circumstances that have taken place in Golden State since their first championship run two years ago, seem to be a case of the entire team and coach having to deal with the antics of one player.
That one player is Draymond Green. And it’s not like the Dubs can just ship this dude off in a trade as he’s arguably the most versatile player in the league and might be the most important player on the Warriors — even with the recent acquisition of Kevin Durant. Just how bad is it with Green and his teammates? Well, for starters, coach Steve Kerr apparently has a strain relationship with Green, and Kerr is one of the most likable dudes in the NBA. But it’s not just coach Kerr, according to former teammate Marreese Speights — who has since denied the notion of him calling out Green.
Via ESPN/True Hoop:
And as that parade reaches the rally beside Oakland’s Lake Merritt park, they are also treated to a glimpse of the often tense relationship between Green and his coach, Steve Kerr.
This my guy,” Draymond starts, prompting Kerr to pat his chest. “From the start of training camp, he hated me. That’s no lie. He probably still hates me. That’s no lie.
Kerr once quipped of his team’s appeal, “We have a very likable group of guys — other than Draymond.” The comment was said with a smile, meant with mirth. A lot of truth is said in jest, as the saying goes.
And so it was that an hour before a win over the Lakers on Nov. 24, almost two months prior to his return to the sideline, Kerr visited with the team to deliver a speech on his four core values: joy, mindfulness, competition and compassion. According to team sources, the emphasis on compassion was meant as a message to Green.
Then, stories of heated clashes between Green and fellow teammate, Klay Thompson, would be “revealed” by former Warriors role player, Marresse Speights. In addition to these accusations, apparently veterans didn’t appreciate Green’s attitude towards them either.
Throughout the season, Green, in the guise of motivation, would berate his co-workers during games and practices; on multiple occasions he had to be separated from teammates.
“Draymond f—ed up practice and s—,” then-Warriors center Marreese Speights says. “Draymond’s a good guy, but I think at the end of the day, it hurt the whole chemistry of the year.” One player in particular, he says, took much of the heat: “Draymond and Klay got into it a lot.” (Thompson declined to comment for this story.)
A code of conduct exists within the NBA. Some yelling is expected, but vets do not accept frequent Bobby Knight — style haranguings from younger players. Or, as Speights puts it, “Guys don’t respect you if you yell at them in front of all these fans. We’re not trying to lose the game. F — .”
However, the most egregious claim in the story was apparently the time Green challenged and swore at coach Kerr following an outburst. Teammates would eventually have to hold Green back from going after his coach.
Oklahoma City, during halftime of a nationally televised game, and Green is losing his holy mind. Inside the visitors locker room, he’s hollering “I am not a robot!” at Kerr. When Kerr tells him to sit down, Green screams, “Motherf—er, come sit me down!” When he goes after Kerr, his teammates, including Curry and Thompson, step in to stave off disaster.
“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.”
It’s hard to judge based upon the text how bad this really got. You never know what is being taken out of context or if things are just being added to spruce up the story. A lot of this stuff happens in every NBA locker room, but usually where there’s smoke, there’s a fire. Nobody would be surprised if Green was a pain in the ass to teammates and in the locker room based upon his behavior seen on the court.
Lastly, Green was just arrested for assault last July. This would certainly be another indicator that Draymond might be a bit of a loose-cannon that can’t control his emotions. Of course we can’t forget the on-the-court antics with players being kicked or hit in their genitals during the playoffs.
There is no more benefit of the doubt for Green. If stories leak out this year of similar previous behaviors, these stories will undoubtedly start to hold more credibility than they might right now in some people’s eyes. And that is not a good thing, Green.