The Golden State Warriors dynasty, one of the most prolific and brilliant in NBA history, would not exist without Draymond Green. In it Green has been support, motor and fire, all intertwined in an indecipherable and inimitable cocktail. His irruption threw a revolutionary piece on the board, that of a mold without a position that defensively held everything, in the paint and out of it, while he projected the attack through far-sighted sequences of rhythm, passes and blocks. Acting as a false interior he became a collective multiplier. A competitive wild card.
However (and at the same time), its visceral element, often raised to the nth degree, has been reaffirming that sometimes the enemy could also be at home. And he had a set of keys. His action last Tuesday, stepping on the chest of the Lithuanian Domantas Sabonis during the last quarter of the second game between Kings and Warriors, led to his expulsion and later suspension for the third game, played on Thursday. As the NBA itself would clarify, justified because of the sum of three elements: the unsportsmanlike play, the defiant behavior before the fans in Sacramento and its previous problematic record.
Before the press, Green, 33, exposed that Sabonis previously caught his leg, alluding to a previous provocation. Detail that, being true, did not justify his disproportionate reaction either. In practice, his short circuit left Steve Kerr’s team without one of its great axes for a match of essential victory, since they never got up 3-0 against in the playoff nba.
And while the Warriors salvaged Game 3 without him, Green put his own team over the brink. A scenario, that of competing on the wire due to his inability to manage anger, that of not finding a balance between vehemence and control, recurrently dangerous. This Sunday, already with Green, they will play the fourth game at home, in San Francisco, to equalize the tie.
The story is not new. Already during the summer of 2016 Draymond received a call from Bob Myers, CEO of the franchise, with urgent forms. “If you want to throw it all away, tell me,” he pointed out, asking for an explanation. The executive was already afraid of losing him for the cause, worried about the runaway parade of events that one of his pillars, also renewed only a year before, was leading.
On July 10 of that year, at the exit of a restaurant in East Lansing (Michigan), Green attacked the football player Jermaine Edmonson, still a university student, after a verbal exchange. Weeks before, even with the season at stake, his emotional explosions could cost the Warriors the second consecutive ring.
Green already had an incident during the 2016 conference finals against the Thunder, kicking Steven Adams, for which he would be expelled. But it was his sanction in the title series, motivated by another low blow to LeBron James, then in Cleveland, the one that would have the most consequences. His sanction for the fifth game of the tie, in which the Warriors could seal the title playing at home, was the beginning of the end. The Cavaliers would take advantage of their loss and end up winning Golden State three times in a row, achieving the most heroic comeback in Finals history.
The player revealed on some occasion, trying to support his volcanic reactions, that his indomitable character is forged by the economic difficulties his family went through during his childhood. “What do you do when you have to survive? Always go to the limit ”, he recognized. But the effects of his lack of control have disrupted the dynasty and forced an extra dose of patience with him. “There’s no way to control that in him, he’s crossed the line all these years but we wouldn’t have won without Draymond. It’s the truth,” coach Kerr resigns.
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