Thursday, April 18, 2024

Draymond Green continues to undercut Warriors, and somehow Stephen Curry continues to shoulder the blame

Draymond Green’s act is wearing thin on even Stephen Curry, who was visibly peeved on Wednesday when Green got himself ejected barely three minutes into Golden State’s game at Orlando. 

Green launched into one of his trademark tantrums after a Paolo Banchero bucket and made contact with an official. That was one technical. Then, as he walked to the bench, he couldn’t stop yapping and got a second technical, which ended his night before it even started.

Here was Green’s nonsense:

Here was Curry’s reaction:

This is the look of a guy at his wits’ end. Curry has stood by Green as he has deteriorated into more trouble than he’s worth. Green has said himself that he likely cost the Warriors a championship in 2016 by getting suspended for Game 5 of the Finals. He more or less told Kevin Durant the Warriors didn’t need him. He punched his teammate, Jordan Poole, in the face. He was suspended in November for putting Rudy Gobert in an MMA chokehold, then again in December for round-housing Jusuf Nurkic.

He’s constantly apologizing (which Steve Kerr said he did again at halftime on Wednesday), constantly admitting fault (almost assuredly for the narcissistic credit he thinks he’s getting for this “accountability”) and constantly saying he’ll be better.

He made it 32 games since his last suspension. 

Well, 31 games and three minutes. 

It was only a matter of time. 

The dude is a ticking bomb, and the Warriors no longer have the margin for error to absorb his explosions. Entering Friday, they have a one-game lead over the surging Rockets for the final Play-In Tournament spot with just 10 games to play. Every game is huge. Which is why Kerr called Green’s ejection at Orlando “unforgivable” as the Golden State coach detailed his thoughts on Curry’s palpably frustrated reaction. 

“Every game being so important, us fighting for everything, and for Draymond to get kicked out three minutes [into the game], it was really unforgivable,” Kerr said on 95.7 The Game on Thursday. “And I think Steph may have even been a little upset with himself for not pulling Draymond out of there.

“But I think mostly it was just, ‘Come on, man. We need this.’ Steph is such a fighter. He’s such a competitor. He wants it so badly. And I think all of that combined led to that reaction.”

Curry is a competitor of the highest breed. He knows the Warriors need Green, who, in turn, rightfully knows he isn’t going to get any sort of leeway from officials. And yet he still has to act like this. He just has to push it. He got lucky on Wednesday. The Warriors managed to win without him to keep their one-game cushion over the Rockets. That’s not the point. Green, yet again, put his team in a bad spot. 

More than that, he’s putting Curry in a bad spot. On Thursday, ESPN’s Jay Williams said he’s getting texts from “high level” NBA people who are … supposedly … blaming Green’s actions on Curry’s lack of leadership. 

Stephen A. Smith made the same claim back in December, and Kerr went on what can only be described as an absolutely appropriate rant on the absurdity of even trying to put Draymond’s behavior on Curry’s shoulders. That dude carries enough. Like, you know, the entire franchise. 

This time, Kerr offered the same sentiment, calling any notion of Curry being culpable for the behavior of another grown man “absolutely ridiculous.”

Kerr is right. Whoever these “high level” people are that are floating this idea that Curry’s leadership is the problem with Green need their heads examined. 

I also love these people who try to make the claim that Michael Jordan was such a great leader that he was able to control Dennis Rodman. Wasn’t there a “Last Dance” episode detailing how Rodman straight up left the team in the middle of the season to go party in Las Vegas? 

Yeah, really sounds like MJ was running a regular boot camp. 

The only thing dumber than these narratives — that one grown man should be able to inhabit the body of another and control his actions — is Green’s behavior in the first place. He can’t, or won’t, control himself. And it continues to cost Curry and the Warriors. 

Looking for more NBA coverage? John Gonzalez, Bill Reiter, Ashley Nicole Moss and special guests dive deep into the league’s biggest storylines daily on the Beyond the Arc podcast.

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