Draymond Green Finals diary, Part 21
‘I’m going to battle with whoever it is.’
Draymond Green has evolved into one of the most interesting personalities in the NBA, and perhaps all of sports — the vocal leader and emotional engine for one of the most compelling NBA teams in recent memory.
Green has agreed to give The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears an exclusive look into his life on and off the court, via a playoff diary that Green hopes will end with a second straight NBA championship for the Golden State Warriors.
Draymond Green Diary, Entry No. 21
The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-97 in Game 4 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Friday night. The Warriors now own a 3-1 lead in the best of seven series, with a chance to clinch its second straight championship in Game 5 in Oakland, California, Monday night. It was an eventful game that even featured a topless male spectator running onto the floor with the words “Trump Sucks” written on his chest. Green, congratulated by one of his childhood idols, retired player Ben Wallace (“that was my guy”) after the game, had nine points, 12 rebounds and four assists in 42 minutes. Cavalier LeBron James and Green had words and were separated after getting tangled up in the fourth quarter.
“[James] stepped over me and I felt like that was disrespectful. I don’t disrespect you on the court. Don’t disrespect me. There’s no love lost. It is what it is. It’s a battle out there. I’m going to battle with whoever it is.
“We had our words. I said what I had to say and he said what he had to say. Move on. I’m not going to sit there and argue with him. I know what position I’m in, in terms of double techs and stuff. Just move on from it.
“We kind of viewed [Game 4] as do-or-die. We knew that if we gave these guys a chance to tie the series up, they would have confidence going into Game 5. We wanted to come out and go back to being ourselves, to come out aggressive and compete. I don’t think we competed the last game. We did that tonight and that’s what got us the game.
“[Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and myself] were a lot better. I was able to get it going on the defensive end. In the second half, we kept Tristan [Thompson] off the glass. That allowed us to get rebounds and to get out and run. I could’ve been better on the offensive end. But, hey, shots don’t fall all the time.
“We can’t view it as the franchise has never won [a title-clinching game] in Oakland. We’re not going to put that pressure on ourselves. We have to view this as a series-clincher. It’s a matter of toughness. If we come in with the right mindset, play the right way and play our brand of basketball, we’ll be just fine.
“We can bring something to Oakland with the opportunity to win it in Oakland. It’s going to be one of the toughest games we ever played in.
“After we came back from 3-1 [against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals], absolutely we know it’s possible — we just did it. We know that will be their rally call. We can’t give this team hope.
“We don’t want to come back to Cleveland. They’re very tough to beat here. We know that. We have to get the job done immediately at home.
“[Oracle Arena] will have a very good atmosphere. I think it will be loud with people ready to celebrate. But we have to lock in on this game and get it done.
“It’s a great feeling knowing that you are one game away. This is what we set out to do. It hasn’t been easy, but we’re right there. We just have to finish the job. I’m looking forward to getting back to Oracle, taking care of business and doing what we need to do.”