Earlier this season, the Golden State Warriors suffered a loss far more embarrassing than their back-to-back beatdowns by the Oklahoma City Thunder in Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference Finals.
An overconfident Warriors squad strolled into Staples Center on Sunday, March 6 expecting to easily dispatch of the lowly Los Angeles Lakers. Only the Warriors — the Splash Brothers in particular — suffered one of their worst shooting performances of the season, and the Lakers crushed them, 112-95.
Flash-forward a few months, and the 73-win Warriors are on the brink of a historic collapse to the Oklahoma City Thunder, trailing the best-of-seven series 3-1. Following Golden State’s Game 4 loss, Bryant reached out to Green over text message and gave him some motivation to make history, according to Green’s Uninterrupted video series:
Green is 100 percent transparent with the media and, more importantly, himself. He’s not pointing any fingers. He’s not making excuses. He’s owning up to the fact that he wasn’t himself in Oklahoma City. He’s more upset with himself than anyone else is.
This isn’t the ideal situation for Green and the Warriors to be in, of course, but he isn’t backing down from the challenge. That doesn’t mean the Warriors are going to come back — they’re still underdogs, to be sure — but this is the right attitude to have to ensure a comeback is even possible.
Bryant obviously knows a thing or two about making history under difficult circumstances (see: the Lakers winning Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals despite Bryant going 6-of-24 from the fioor). Let’s see if Green can follow in his footsteps.