By now, you’ve probably heard about Draymond Green‘s mysterious locker-room blowout during halftime of the Warriors-Thunder game on Saturday night. ABC sideline reporter Lisa Salters first reported the incident prior to the third quarter, and now that the dust has settled on arguably the best game of the NBA season, Golden State’s versatile big man decided to set the record straight when speaking to reporters Monday. Via ESPN.com’s Ethan Sherwood-Strauss:
“I admit my mistakes. I made a mistake. I admitted my mistakes to my teammates and my coaching staff. I apologize to my teammates, my coaching staff, this organization. That wasn’t the right way to handle what needed to be handled. As a leader of this team I can’t do that because it sets a bad precedent for how everything is ran around here, how everything should be ran, how everything has been ran, and how everything will be ran going forward. It won’t happen again. It’s, you know, something where my emotions kind of got ahead of me and I let my emotions get the best of me. However, I will never quit on my teammates, as some have reported. I would never quit on my coaching staff, I would never quit on this organization. This organization has given me everything that I can ask for. So I have supported and represented this organization to the best of my ability. That’s not who I am, that’s not who I’ve been, and that’s not who I will become. Sometimes, emotion, that’s human. I’m not perfect, nobody on this Earth is perfect. If we were, there’s no reason for us being here. As a human being I made a mistake and, like I said before, I apologize to my teammates, to everybody who I need to apologize to. It won’t happen again.”
Salters initially reported that Green’s “profanity-laced tirade” could be heard by everyone outside the Warriors’ locker room, and Stephen A. Smith of ESPN’s “First Take” took that a few steps further and claimed that he’d been told by an unnamed source that much of Green’s ire was directed at head coach Steve Kerr and that the two had to be separated by teammates.
Green’s comment about quitting on his teammates “as some have reported,” could be in direct response to Smith’s further claims that Green apparently initially refused to return from the locker room in the second half and had to be convinced by his teammates to go out and play.
On the one hand, it doesn’t seem to bode well that Green would suffer such a spectacular emotional meltdown at the first hint of adversity. But at the same time, Green was able to bounce back and make crucial contributions for his team when they needed it the most. Despite being held without a field goal in the game (0-of-8 shooting), Green still posted a tremendous stat line: 14 rebounds, 14 assists, six steals, and four blocks.
And before there’s too much chatter and speculation about a widening rift between Green and his head coach, it bears mentioning that they’ve had an excellent rapport up to his point and that the whole incident purportedly started because Kerr made no bones about singling out Green’s on-court mistakes and apparently wouldn’t back down during Green’s ensuing outburst. Strauss even reported last year that this is apparently their preferred mode of communication:
“I love Draymond,” Kerr said. “Draymond and I have probably gotten into it three or four times, and every time he apologizes within a minute because he has such a heart of gold.”
Granted, it didn’t look good, which is why Green was compelled to address it. But being able to perform the way he did in the midst of all that frustration is actually a good sign for the Warriors rather than something to worry about.