One of the more fascinating budding rivalries in the Western Conference is between the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies. The two sides faced off in a tense, 6-game series in the conference semifinals last year, and while Memphis is ahead of the defending champions in the standings this year, Golden State is still the established power in the conference that they’ll need to overcome in their quest for a title.
The teams feature two of the best instigators in basketball, as the Warriors have Draymond Green and the Grizzlies have Dillon Brooks. The latter was the subject of a profile by Tim Keown of ESPN that published on Friday, and in it, a comparison was made between the two players. It turns out Brooks wasn’t fan of that, as he has some pretty strong feelings about Green.
The look in his eyes and the strain in his jaw muscles makes it instantly clear: The comparison is not a compliment.
“I don’t like Draymond at all,” he says. “I just don’t like Golden State. I don’t like anything to do with them. Draymond talks a lot. Gets away with a lot, too. His game is cool — with Golden State — but if you put him anywhere else, you’re not going to know who Draymond is. He plays with heart, plays hard, knows the ins and outs of their defense. I guess that’s why they like him over there.”
Saying that Green is a product of the Warriors’ system and he’d struggle elsewhere is a line that has followed the 4-time All-Star around for much of his career. While he did not respond to ESPN’s request for a comment with anything other than a laugh, Green will get the chance to address Brooks in person on two occasions before the end of the regular season, as Golden State will travel to Memphis on March 9 and 18.