Warriors’ Draymond Green in Hot Water Over Comment on Steph Curry

Draymond Green

Getty Draymond Green and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

Draymond Green has settled plenty of scores since he helped lead the Golden State Warriors to their fourth title in the last eight seasons, but the latest one may be the most bizarre — and most misunderstood.

Green drew controversy this week for some comments on teammate Steph Curry and his scoring abilities after Kevin Durant had joined Golden State in 2016. While Green was trying to make a point about Curry’s growth as a player, it came out to many as a shot at the future Hall of Famer.

“The reality is, I don’t think that team wins another championship if Kevin [Durant] doesn’t come,” Green said during his June 28 appearance on J.J. Redick’s podcast, “The Old Man and The Three.”

“I personally don’t think at that point Steph Curry had figured out, ‘I’m going to get a bucket whenever I want to,’” Green added. “I don’t think he was capable of that yet. I think he was still growing into that. … We got to a point where we needed to be able to give someone the ball that could just go get a bucket. And Kevin was already there. I don’t think Steph was there yet.”

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Green Catches Heat for Comments

Many pushed back against Green’s comment, taking it as a dig on Curry’s offensive abilities back in 2016, when Curry had just led the league with 30.1 points per game.

Nick Wright of “First Things First” accused Green of taking a shot at his teammate in order to stir up drama.

“Draymond said he takes his media and podcast career as seriously as he takes his basketball career,” Wright said on June 29. “If you want to take seriously, you have to create some news. That’s what he’s doing when he said Steph couldn’t create his own shot a few years ago.”

Analyst Chris Broussard also countered Green’s argument, pointing out that Curry became the league’s first unanimous MVP in the season Green referenced.

“Steph is mature enough to let Draymond’s comments bounce off his back,” Broussard said on the same episode of “First Things First.” “But Draymond’s not making sense. He said Steph couldn’t create his own shot — Steph averaged 30, he was a unanimous MVP that season. It seemed like he was fine.”

Green has certainly not shied away from drama, getting into Twitter beefs with Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies and former player-turned-analyst Kendrick Perkins in the weeks since the Warriors won the NBA Finals.

Green Shares Love for Curry

Some believe the latest controversy is more a matter of misinterpretation. Zach Zafran of The San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate noted that there was more context to the conversation that some of the reactionaries seemed to miss. During the discussion, Redick suggested that Durant doesn’t get proper credit for Golden State’s titles in 2017 and 2018, which led to Green’s comments about Curry.

“Green — who prefaces his take by recounting how opponents’ defensive game plans differed for Curry and Durant — isn’t knocking Curry but instead noting the significance of Durant’s role,” Zafran pointed out.

Later in the discussion, Green pointed out that Curry faced double teams throughout those playoff runs, opening up Durant to get easier shots. Green said he believed the strategies employed against the Warriors prompted Curry to work on his strength training and expand his scoring prowess.

“That’s where Steph turned the corner and he became unstoppable,” Green said. “And now we’re able to continue winning championships because he’s unstoppable.”

Curry himself didn’t seem bothered by the situation, sharing some love for his teammate on his Instagram story shortly after Green’s comments.

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