Life is different for the Warriors now.
Gone are the days of the deadliest show on hardwood, a collection of talent that allowed the Warriors to rule out most opponents without breaking a sweat. The days of the Warriors approaching certain opponents with “proper fear” are over. They have to approach all opponents with the same mindset, knowing that nothing is a fact.
These new-looking Warriors are learning to win. Similarly, Draymond Green is learning to lead in a different way.
Green spent his formative years as the heartbeat of the Warriors. His energy, enthusiasm and competitive fire gave the championship teams a jolt of life when he felt the need arise. He had veterans like David West, Andrew Bogut, Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala there to contain his outbursts, to channel Green’s tenacity and contain it when necessary.
All those veterans have moved on, and now Green, and Steph Curry, are learning how to be the senior statesman on a team of Warriors that no longer has the firepower of the Galactic Empire, but is still learning how to figure out what they are and what. so good. they can be.
The final learning moment in Green’s evolution from emotional jet fuel supplier to temperate leader came Saturday when he was assessed with two fast technical fouls and sent off with nine seconds left against the Charlotte Hornets. Green’s emotions cost the Warriors, who were without Curry, a chance at a much-needed victory. Terry Rozier made both technical free throws to tie the game and then drained a 20-foot ball at the buzzer to give the Hornets the victory.
In years past, Green would have been cornered by a veteran teammate and failed to get the second technique. But with Klay Thompson injured and Curry sick, there was no one who could save Green from himself. After two days of reflection, the three-time NBA champion knows that it cost his team a victory and that it is up to him, a member of the old guard, to be a different kind of leader and keep those emotions in check.
“I’m still a little bit disappointed in myself because I think the whole situation upset me,” Green told reporters Monday, saying he was more upset about this expulsion than about being suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. 2016. “… this situation, in particular, I had full control over it. I let that control slip away from me and in turn, I left the game away from me and my teammates. I think the reason why The one that bothered me the most, obviously, like I said, your thoughts are your thoughts on the Game 5 situation and my thoughts are my thoughts. This young team, you know, winning an NBA game is not easy. And this young team He hasn’t had, you know, the guys on this team haven’t had a lot of experience winning, so taking the game away from my teammates, which is why they worked so hard, was kind of frustrating for me because I let them down.
“Another reason it was a bit frustrating for me when I think about the whole picture of it all: If you write Draymond Green before Saturday, the first clip you’ll see is me talking about him. [Andre] Drummond situation. So to move from that situation to what you see below are two completely different ends of the spectrum and that is where the disappointment for me lies, letting my emotions take over and moving on from one of the most powerful statements in History of the NBA to that. It is shameful. That’s where the disappointment for me comes from. Disappointing my teammates and then that. The difference in those two situations. I am much better than that.
“I am a completely different person at 25 than at 30. So when I look at the person I am today, that should never happen. So by saying that I can admit my flaws and when I am I was wrong and I was wrong. And I have to do what I have to do to compensate my teammates. Obviously, as I told the guys, I appreciate the support from me, but that action does not deserve support. With the support of my teammates comes responsibility. and I let her go. To think, just because they’re my teammates and I have their support doesn’t necessarily mean that I deserved it in that situation because I wasn’t. So, I’m very grateful for them and I owe them. ”
Green is confident that it will be better for this experience. He admitted that he was “totally wrong” in getting the second technician. Meet this team, this version of the Warriors, one that has struggled to find consistency, needs you on the court.
Past versions of the Warriors could feed off his passion and excitement and, when things went overboard, survive if he had to take an early shower. His presence, while vital to defensive communication and offensive flow, was not as essential as having Curry flanked by Thompson and Kevin Durant. The Warriors could survive a outburst from Green, hook it in their veins and let it propel them into a quick five-minute blast that left no trace of their opponent.
These warriors need green. They need your playmaking skills, your high basketball IQ, and most importantly, your leadership. As one of the standard bearers of the Warriors’ championship culture, it is now vital that Green grows up in a new role that he is arguably even more suited to than his old one: that of the veteran veteran.
“I think it has a huge impact,” Green said of the absence of other veterans on the team. “Just not having senior veterans, per se, to give yourself that perspective, you just have to find it. It is a completely different situation than what I got used to living or that I am a part of, but you just have to find it. Everything is part of growth. You will not remain the young forever. One thing is for sure in this life: we all grow old. That’s the nature of it, so you just have to make that adjustment. ”
He is. Also the Warriors.
The remnants of the NBA’s largest collection of talent are scattered throughout the league. Durant leads a new super team in Brooklyn. Andre Iguodala is now the veteran veteran of the Miami Heat. Thompson is spending his second straight season rehabbing a serious injury as Curry and Green load up on a roster of new Warriors blood and try to show them how to win.
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Every night is a new experiment for the former kings of the NBA. Curry has been thrilled with his MVP-level star. Green’s chemistry with Curry has been otherworldly and each time he leaves the track provides more evidence of how important it is for the Warriors to have him in it, no matter what the score on the box says.
“Every team is different and leadership develops as the season progresses,” Kerr told reporters Monday. “David West was the guy who could literally physically pick up Draymond and bear him, hug him and fight his way out of the situation and he had pulled it off. Draymond’s respect to back that up. This team has younger guys who might not sit down. so comfortable doing something like that. So sure it’s a different dynamic. I think Draymond understands that, we understand that, but there will be times when we have to help him not cross that line. That’s how it’s built. It’s so competitive and fiery that sometimes he’s going to lose it. We all have to try to keep him from crossing that line, but that comes mainly from within. “
For Green, that restraint will come over time. Green knows he has it and knows he must take advantage of it. He’s too important to this team, and every win is too critical to be gifted with an unnecessary emotional outburst.
Draymond Green’s new leadership style is still being elaborated and refined. He, like everyone else, is learning to exist in the new Warriors reality.
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