National Basketball Association
Why Draymond Green, not Steve Kerr, is to blame for the current state of the Warriors
National Basketball Association

Why Draymond Green, not Steve Kerr, is to blame for the current state of the Warriors

Published Apr. 17, 2024 7:48 p.m. ET

Many people are regarding the Golden State Warriors' season-ending loss to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday as the death knell of the dynasty that saw Stephen Curry become one of the greatest players in league history and teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green and head coach Steve Kerr all likely solidify their future Hall of Fame cases as well.

While time was eventually destined to catch up with the Warriors — Curry is 36 years old and Thompson and Green are both 34, after all — the team whose owner once boasted was "light years ahead" of its NBA peers has seemingly crashed down to earth in spectacular fashion over the past two seasons between Green's multiple suspensions for violent on-court outbursts against teammates and opponents and the Warriors' seeming inability to successfully develop a young core around their aging stars despite numerous attempts.

Many Warriors fans, including several with large social media followings, have cited the latter as the biggest reason for the Warriors' failure to properly sustain a title contender around a still-effective Curry after their surprise 2022 run. But Nick Wright thinks those fans are in denial, and the blame falls primarily on Green — even though Thompson went 0-for-10 shooting in Tuesday's loss.

"The real villain here, unfortunately, is the face of new media, Draymond Green," Wright said on Wednesday's edition of "First Things First," alluding to Green's popular podcast.


Wright cited the one-game suspension Green earned for hitting LeBron James in the groin in Game 4 of the 2016 NBA finals, which paved the way for James to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers on a comeback from down 3-1 in the series, as one example of Green costing the Warriors. 

He then pointed to reported friction between Green and Kevin Durant as a reason the latter left Golden State in 2019 after just three seasons, two of which resulted in titles and NBA Finals MVPs for the superstar forward. Wright also singled out Green's suspension for punching one of the Warriors' more successful young players, Jordan Poole, in a 2022 practice just months after the Warriors won another title — Poole was traded to the Washington Wizards last offseason.

"[Poole] was supposed to be the heir apparent to Klay Thompson, and maybe they could have used him last night," Wright said. "And this year, [Green] left Steph Curry sobbing on the court after his latest infraction, which put them in a position where they're the damn 10 seed."

The last incident Wright was alluding to was when Green got ejected less than four minutes into a critical late-season game against the Orlando Magic, which seemingly caused Curry to become emotional when play resumed. The Warriors did win that game, thought as Wright pointed out earlier in his segment, Golden State struggled mightily against playoff teams all season long.

"Even though Warriors Twitter wants to blame Steve Kerr, I'm going to say Draymond Green is the No. 1 reason the Warriors are in this position," Wright said.

And Wright was further willing to defend Kerr the night before. At roughly 1:30 a.m. eastern time, with the rest of his family asleep, Wright entered a Twitter Spaces live audio chat among several Warriors fans with large followings who were critical of Kerr. Wright presented his case, and went viral for doing so, later saying he held an "impromptu debate class."

In one viral clip, Wright responded to one fan upset that he was questioning fans' evaluation of Kerr given that they, unlike Wright, watch every Warriors game from start to finish.

Wright said the fan was engaging in was an "appeal to authority" fallacy, the idea that a claim should be accepted because other Warriors fans agree with it.

"But I will go with it, you guys are the authority," Wright said. "But then if you want to follow that same exact logical train, don't you think the general manager, team president and owner watch every it even closer than you guys? No, you don't."

Wright also sparred prominent Warriors fan Jim Park after Park took issue with how few minutes rookie second-round pick Trayce Jackson-Davis was receiving off the bench.

"Here's what I honest to God think, and I don't think this is a controversial opinion," Wright said. "If [you think] the amount of minutes [Jackson-Davis] does or does not get is the difference between your team getting rocked by a Kings team in freefall and winning a championship, then you're kidding yourself."

Unlike Thompson, who is set to be a free agent this coming offseason, Wright is not going anywhere, and you can catch him every weekday at 3 p.m. ET on "First Things First" live on FS1 and the FOX Sports App.

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