The Golden State Warriors have been bruised and battered this season, and as a result, the team is at the bottom of the Western Conference. Things nearly became a little worse on Saturday night against the Dallas Mavericks when D’Angelo Russell dove for a loose ball, went face-first into Luka Doncic’s hip, and laid on the ground for several minutes.
Fortunately for Golden State, Russell did not need the stretcher that was brought out for him. Instead, he was able to get up, walk to the back, and eventually rejoin the team on the bench, even if the Warriors fell to the Mavs, 141-121. As an added bonus, Russell is not expected to miss any time due to what was described as a shoulder contusion, and to put the cherry on top of the sundae, Draymond Green got to use this as a chance to reignite his feud with Paul Pierce.
Green was asked after the game about Russell picking up a knock, and in a curious twist, he decided to express how proud he was that Russell didn’t need to use a stretcher. Via Anthony Slater of The Athletic:
“Happy he didn’t leave on a stretcher and then come back in,” Draymond Green said. “I would’ve lost all respect. We’ve had some guys do sh*t like that in this league.”
Yes. That was a direct shot at Paul Pierce.
Pierce, of course, once left an NBA Finals game in a wheelchair, only to emerge a few minutes later and help lead the Boston Celtics to a 10-point home win over the Los Angeles Lakers. He recently said that he only did this because he had to use the bathroom, but later clarified that he was merely joking. Green has gone at Pierce in the past, most famously when he chirped at Pierce during his final year in the league.
Was this a necessary jab at Pierce? Obviously not, but Green is a trash talk artist, and any chance he gets to flex a bit, he will assuredly take. And when that chance to flex comes at the expense of one of his most notable beefs, well, he was probably happier than a kid on Christmas Day.