Saturday, May 25, 2024

Draymond Green says Warriors’ chemistry was ‘horsesh–‘ last season: ‘It was hard to come to work’

SAN FRANCISCO — There were rumblings about the lack of chemistry on last season’s Golden State Warriors roster, and, on Wednesday, All-Star forward Draymond Green unequivocally confirmed all of the rumors.

Following Golden State’s 102-101 win over the Sacramento Kings, Green was asked to compare the chemistry on this season’s team to last season’s, which lost in the Western Conference semifinals to the Los Angeles Lakers. The current roster received a rave review. Last year’s? Not so much. 

“Last year we had an awful team as far as chemistry goes — pathetic,” Green said. ” You look at last year and say, ‘Ah man, this team hasn’t lost a Western Conference series under Steve Kerr.’ And then it happens. The big reason why is our chemistry sucked.

“… Last year was horse sh–. It was hard to come to work. … Not fun, you know?”

The issues surfaced last year before the 2022-23 season even began, when a video was released of Green punching then-teammate Jordan Poole in the face during practice. Later, during the postseason, forward Jonathan Kuminga raised some eyebrows by saying that his role had changed “out of nowhere.”

Over the summer, Poole was traded to the Washington Wizards for veteran point guard Chris Paul, who has performed well in his first five games as a Warrior. The only other significant rotation loss for Golden State was Donte DiVincenzo, who signed with the New York Knicks. Meanwhile, the Warriors added veterans Dario Saric and Cory Joseph.

Kuminga, for his part, had an excellent preseason and continues to be a key part of the rotation. Green said that the chemistry on this year’s edition of the Warriors has been night and day from a season ago.

“This year, you see the joy on guys’ faces when they come in the building,” Green explained on Wednesday. “You got guys staying over two or three hours after, just sitting around talking, getting here two or three hours early just to be here. You start to see that and be like, OK, this is a group that likes being together.”

The Warriors are off to a 4-1 start. After an opening-night loss to the Phoenix Suns, they’ve rattled off four straight wins, including Wednesday’s tight matchup that was keyed by a Klay Thompson game-winner. For his part, Stephen Curry added that the group’s get-togethers over the summer went a long way towards mending whatever chemistry issues lingered from last season.

“We just played and hung out on and off the court, and it helped to have some familiarity, understanding everybody’s personalities and presence and motivation going into the year,” Curry said of the offseason meetings. “I think it’s translated to some early success, for sure. We’re not playing perfect basketball, but there’s nice cohesion and chemistry and trust amongst each other.”

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