Things got a bit testy between LeBron James and Draymond Green during Game 4 of the NBA Finals. At one point late in the game, LeBron stepped over Green — a la Allen Iverson stepping over James’ now-coach Tyrone Lue back in the 2001 Finals. Green responded by picking up his arm and making contact with LeBron below the belt.
After Golden State took the game, 108-97, Green sat down with the NBA TV broadcasting crew to go over the incident. As it turns out, one of Golden State’s most frequent critics — and that includes Draymond, especially — had his back.
When the subject of stepping over a player came up, Charles Barkley didn’t hold hack. “That is the most disrespectful thing that you can do to a player that you knock down.” He also mentioned that Green could have played back in the days when they had “real basketball” because older players really love to poke fun at how soft they think the current generation has become.
Green explained that he doesn’t back down and that he doesn’t care who he’s playing against. But let’s face it, not only is this the Finals, this is a rematch of last year’s championship series. There were many who questioned exactly how good the Warriors were last year because they played against a handful of injured teams in the playoffs, including a Cavaliers squad missing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in the Finals. That implicit asterisk precipitated this year’s quest to prove everyone wrong, so it’s probably fair to assume that Green definitely cares about beating the Cavs.
At the very least, it seems that Green is taking the whole thing in stride. After all, his team is up 3-1 and going back home for Game 5.