Draymond Green playoffs diary, Part 13
‘From this point on, we have to treat every game like a Game 7.’
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 No. 13
The Golden State Warriors fell to 2-1 in the best of seven Western Conference finals after being routed 133-105 by the host Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night. Green struggled with six points on just 1-9 shooting from the field, with four rebounds, three assists and four turnovers in 31 minutes. The NBA All-Star also received a flagrant foul 1 for kneeing Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams in the groin in the second quarter. Green called it unintentional, but the play is expected to be reviewed by the NBA before Game 4 on Tuesday in Oklahoma City.
“I would tell [Adams], ‘My bad. I didn’t try to do something like that.’ Honestly, I wanted to go up to him during the game and say that. But I know what type of competitor he is and I think I know how he would react. If he would have reacted the way I thought he would have reacted, I know what that would have done to me, as well. I just kind of erred on the side of not saying anything and was hopeful I may catch him after the game.
“I didn’t intentionally kick him down there. Whether he believes me or not, which I don’t think he will and wouldn’t in the moment, which is why I didn’t say anything. I would definitely apologize and I look forward to apologizing to him, if I see him.
“I’m kind of upset about this, ‘Will he get suspended or will he not?’ It’s just frustrating. Obviously, I hit [Adams] there in Game 2. But can anyone possibly say that was intentional. People might look at that and say, ‘He did it then — he tried to do [it again].’ Would I be that obvious, if I’m trying to do it?’
“I know how important I am to my team. Being that I know that, I’m not going to be that obvious and try to kick a man down there. That’s not something I would even do. Hitting someone down there … you can ruin a lot more. Why do that?
“And I am all for fans cheering their guys on, so it doesn’t bother me that they were saying, [‘Throw him out.’]. I didn’t think there was a chance that I’d get thrown out. It would have completely shocked me. I immediately thought that it should probably be rescinded.
“If a guy takes the ball over to the left and gets fouled trying to go up left, your body is hit left and the right side goes up — physics. You hit something on one side the other side goes up. I learned that in physics. I didn’t know it happened. That’s how intentional it was. I didn’t even know I did it.
“From this point on, we have to treat every game like a Game 7. We’ve been here before. We’ve been here before in the [last year’s] finals and against Memphis [in the second round]. It’s not the first time having to battle back from this. But, every time we’ve been there, we responded well. We have to make sure we stick to the basics and do what it takes to win.
“The Thunder are a very good team. Very competitive — a very good ball club. We expected them to be tough. But we don’t worry about what someone else is doing. If we do what we have to do, everything else will take care of itself. If we play our best game and they play their best game, I think we win. But if they play their best game while we are playing our worst, what happened tonight can also happen.”
Hall of Famer Gary Payton recently told Sirius Radio that Green needs to stop crying to the referees “all the time.”
“He is a guy that wasn’t too quiet himself and I watched him growing up. There is some truth to what he said and some false to what he said. It is what it is. I don’t live my life worrying about what someone else has to say. If I live my life worrying about what everyone else has to say, it would take my entire day.”