Draymond Green needs to continue to bring the fire
The Golden State Warriors’ stars Draymond Green and Kevin Durant were caught on camera arguing with each other. Green needs to keep bringing that fire.
The Golden State Warriors play under a microscope. The whole universe stops whenever they do anything. They run the league.
When the Warriors lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals last year, basketball fans rejoiced. They re-tooled and signed Kevin Durant. They became the scariest team ever put together.
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The fit was questioned. Could Durant and Stephen Curry co-exist? How would Klay Thompson deal with being a distant third option? Could Draymond Green tone down his antics after his controversial playoff run?
The 73-9 Warriors were characterized by their free-flowing style of play. Curry was the clear alpha and he was spectacular. Golden State was full of energy and fun. Everyone knew their roles and there was unprecedented joy.
Golden State had to break up what they built in order to sign Durant. They would have to build that chemistry once again. It wasn’t going to be smooth.
It took LeBron James’ Miami Heat about two years to really click, but the Warriors would have even more pressure than those teams. The expectation was that this star-studded team could win 80 games in their sleep. The bar was set way too high.
The team is learning how to play together. The stars, in particular, are trying to find a balance between taking over and letting their teammates lead the way. Sometimes they slip up and sometimes they don’t attack when they should.
Draymond Green was seen yelling at Durant in the Warriors’ loss to the Sacramento Kings. It was the second time this type of interaction happened in front of the cameras. The first time was in the Warriors’ 24 point collapse to the Memphis Grizzlies. Green was seen berating Durant after some lackluster play.
Durant struggled against Sacramento. He took just 10 shots and Green called him out on his lack of aggressiveness. As the tape shows, the former MVP barked back at him.
The media ran with it and made a big deal out of it. How dare Green yell at someone of Durant’s caliber? How could someone of Durant’s ability let Green scold him? Is Green out of control? Is Durant mentally weak? Is the chemistry broken?
Green and the Warriors downplayed it and for good reason. It’s not that big of a deal. It’s just fierce competitors expressing frustration. It was also an intelligent leader challenging his superstar teammate, per ESPN’s Chris Hayes:
Green’s premeditated approach sparked a verbal spat that lasted roughly 30 seconds.
“F— you” obscenities were repeatedly tossed back and forth by both players, sources told ESPN. Durant was enraged. Sources said Green, knowing he had accomplished his goal, began winking and smiling at some of his teammates and coaching staff.
Green knew exactly what he was doing. He was trying to get Durant to really lock in. He was pushing his struggling teammate in hopes that he would get angry and take it out on the Kings.
Head coach Steve Kerr, a member of the Michael Jordan’s intense Chicago Bulls, said that it was normal. Stephen Curry said that this happens when you want to compete, but it’s all coming from a good place. Green said it’s a sign of how close this team is and how much they want to win.
There was nothing wrong with Green’s behavior. In fact, he shouldn’t stop. He needs to do it when he feels it’s necessary.
Green is the emotional leader. While it’s Curry’s success that ultimately determines if this team is going to win or not, it’s Green’s job to push everyone. This team, with Durant, is the most talented in the league and they know it. Sometimes they get complacent.
It’s up to Green to push them. It’s up to him to make sure that they’re playing hard. The Warriors are full of guys that hate losing and that manifests itself in different ways.
The media is going to look for ways to find drama within this team. It would be a huge story. Non-Warriors fans wants this team to fall apart. The only way a healthy Golden State Warriors team is going to lose is if they beat themselves.
Golden State can’t rely on just their talent to win a championship. They’re going to need fire. Draymond Green brings that and he shouldn’t be deterred from bringing it when he feels like the team’s energy is low.