While Stephen Curry is the reigning two-time MVP, Draymond Green is right there with Curry in terms of importance to the Golden State Warriors. Part of what makes Green so good is the edge he always carries himself with, but former teammate Marreese Speights told ESPN’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss that it was a problem at times:
Throughout the season, Green, in the guise of motivation, would berate his co-workers during games and practices; on multiple occasions he had to be separated from teammates.
“Draymond f—ed up practice and s—,” then-Warriors center Marreese Speights says. “Draymond’s a good guy, but I think at the end of the day, it hurt the whole chemistry of the year.” One player in particular, he says, took much of the heat: “Draymond and Klay got into it a lot.” (Thompson declined to comment for this story.)
Throughout this piece, Strauss outlines the delicate balance between Good Draymond and Bad Draymond. The Warriors know they can’t neuter the forward too much because that competitive edge is a key to his surprising rise to greatness, but enabling his behavior can get them into trouble.
Steve Kerr and the Warriors’ coaching staff fully realize this, and this is what Kerr said after Green’s infamous blowup during halftime of a late February game against the Oklahoma City Thunder:
Then Kerr pauses and, as if acknowledging something that can’t be swept aside, offers: “You have to find the edge, you find the balance. About two years ago, [Draymond] was good. This last year, a couple of times he went over the brink. That’s the challenge.”
Of course, Green’s behavior got the Warriors into big trouble in the playoffs, as his low-blow attacks took center stage and ultimately resulted in an ill-timed suspension in the NBA Finals. That was the beginning of the collapse for the Warriors, who believe they would’ve won it all if not for that suspension.
Green had some mishaps after the Finals as well, and now the Warriors just hope they can find that balance needed so this thing doesn’t come crashing down again.