The Golden State Warriors may have cruised to an NBA record 73 wins, but there was plenty of behind-the-scenes drama last season.
Draymond Green, the team’s emotional spark plug, was in the middle of it. And according to an unnamed Warrior, Green and fellow All-Star teammate Klay Thompson often clashed.
How Draymond Green is both the player to lead the Warriors to a dynasty — and the man who could stand in their way: https://t.co/JZquisJ7Lt
— ESPN (@espn) October 19, 2016
Green, 26, basically cost the Dubs the title last season with his boneheaded actions, and rivals hope his emotions get in the way of a potentially long reign atop the NBA.
“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.)
A code of conduct exists within the NBA. Some yelling is expected, but vets do not accept frequent Bobby Knight — style haranguings from younger players. Or, as Speights puts it, “Guys don’t respect you if you yell at them in front of all these fans. We’re not trying to lose the game. F — .”
There is, to be sure, a “boys will be boys” ethos in the NBA that condones a high level of hedonism, as long as the player produces. Still, the chorus of murmurs around Green is growing — not because his production is suffering but because his discretion is. As one Warriors official says, “There’s an a–hole in every bar. The question is, why are you winding up in that situation?” And as one NBA team executive says of Green’s behavior, and its potential to subvert a potential dynasty, “He’s what will ultimately prevent them from having long-term success.”