Is Draymond Green About to Cost the Warriors Another NBA Title?

Is Draymond Green About to Cost the Warriors Another NBA Title?
Image © Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
✍️ Written by
Ty Bronicel
🗓 Updated
May 19th 2023

It’s not easy being Draymond Green.

It hasn’t since his rookie season with Golden State in 2012 as a second-round steal of a draft pick out of Michigan State.

He’s been polarizing ever since and often makes it difficult on himself, teammates and coaches.

Warriors fans love him, of course, but the rest of the league? Um, no. Green always ranks high on lists of the most despised players in the NBA. He can be a loudmouth, a hothead, and, worst of all, a player who racks up flagrant fouls, sometimes to the ultimate detriment of the Warriors.

But let’s be clear: Green, who has spent all 10 seasons with the Warriors, is a four-time All-Star, was the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, and likely is a future Hall of Famer, is also a three-time champion--and it could have been four.

In the 2016 NBA Finals, the Warriors were up 3-1 on the LeBron-led Cleveland Cavaliers, but during Golden State’s Game 4 victory, Green picked up his fourth flagrant foul (against James) of the playoffs and was suspended for Game 5. The Cavs won the next three straight games, including Game 7 in Oakland – despite Green’s 32-point, 15-rebound effort – to snatch away what looked like an inevitable championship.

Point is, the momentum shifted dramatically after Green sat out Game 5.

As Bob Odenkirk writes in his hilarious “Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama: A Memoir,” “Be wary of momentum. F***ing avalanches have momentum!”

True dat, in words that Green can appreciate. Asked how he played in Golden State’s 116-100 Game 3 loss to the Celtics Wednesday night, Green kept it simple, saying: “(I played) like s***.”

Through the first three Finals games, Green’s stats are: 15 points (with just five made field goals), 15 fouls and 6 turnovers.

So, not great.

Plus, his attitude is becoming a problem again in the Finals. He was overly aggressive and frustrated Wednesday night and appeared on the verge of getting T-ed up several times. Boston players and fans have gotten under his skin, the refs too, and Green seems dangerously close to tilt.

There’s a snowball’s chance in hell the Warriors come back from a 3-1 Finals deficit if they lose Game 4 Friday night in Boston. Only those aforementioned Cavs in 2016 have come back from a 3-1 Finals deficit to win the title, so if Green doesn’t cool it, calm down and shake off Wednesday’s disastrous game, it’s gonna be a very long offseason, much like it was in 2016.

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