For Draymond Green, protests can't be short-lived: 'We're screwed' if they end soon

For Draymond Green, protests can't be short-lived: 'We're screwed' if they end soon

OAKLAND -- Easing into a seat for an interview a half hour after the Warriors finished practice Monday, Draymond Green responded to the first six questions at decibels barely above a whisper.

There was candor on basketball matters, because there always is with Green, but the power forward’s tone was relatively relaxed.

Not until the next several questions, all related to America’s polarizing sociopolitical climate, did Green’s heart and mind lock into rhythm. Asked if he believes the current wave of protests against inequality will go away soon, his voice picked up volume and conviction.

“I hope not,” Green said. “If it goes away, then we still have a problem. So I hope it’s not going away in a few weeks. Then we’ve missed the message again.

“So, no, I don’t think it’ll be gone away in a few weeks. And I pray that it’s not, because it’s not a problem that can be fixed in a few weeks. So, no, it shouldn’t be gone in a few weeks.”

Green acknowledged that he did not see the demonstrations that were spread across the NFL landscape on Sunday. He was, he said, out shopping and enjoying the day with his children.

He was aware that some teams stayed in the locker room during the anthem, that others knelt on the sidelines and that some linked arms. Being aware was not enough for Green to feel comfortable addressing that aspect.

But he’s very familiar with the subject matter.

“You just have to stand for what you believe in,” Green said during an answer than lasted more than two full minutes. “What everyone else may believe in, you may not believe in.”

Articulating the difference between the life of the athlete and that of a soldier, Green explaining that he has the “utmost respect” for those in the military.

“I just hope that there can be an understanding that this isn’t against the military,” he said. “It’s not to disrespect anything they do. Because I think everyone respects what they do . . . I appreciate everything they do.”

It was evident, however, that Green is on the same page as those pushing for the progress that would make America great, allowing the country to live up to its pledges stated in the constitution and elsewhere.

That’s why he hopes this activism is not a trend but a movement.

“I’m not saying kneeling shouldn’t be gone,” Green said. “But this conversation, trying to make these changes, absolutely not. If it’s gone in a few weeks, we’re screwed.”

Warriors first trimester report card: Only three solid A's


Warriors first trimester report card: Only three solid A's

OAKLAND -- For the first time in four seasons, the Warriors after 29 games -- precisely halfway to the 2018 All-Star Break -- are not bosses, sitting atop the NBA standings, and it has created a thin undercurrent of anxiety within Dub Nation.

We get it. By getting hurt and blowing leads and losing to inferior teams, even on their beloved home court, they have yet to terrify the rest of the NBA.

Their sixth loss came before Dec. 1, for crying out loud. The last time they lost six games before January was in 2013-14. Loss No. 6 last season came on Jan. 6. The season before, it didn’t come until March, and it put them at an astonishing 55-6.

Still, their 23-6 record puts them one game behind their pace of last season. The Warriors have been special. Here is where we take a closer look, with the issuance of report cards for the first trimester of the season.

Though the criteria are largely subjective, we consider statistics, impact, and current performance relative to past standards. In short: How much more could reasonably be expected?

Jordan Bell: The rookie forward/center has been a revelation. The Warriors believed in him enough that on draft night they paid $3.5 million for his rights. He looks like a steal. He produces at both ends, in a variety of ways. His numbers are impressive for a vet, much less a rookie chosen in the second round. He makes mistakes, but rarely the same one twice.

Grade: A

Omri Casspi: The veteran forward acquired in the offseason has been solid, as advertised, displaying a well-rounded offensive game but some clear deficiencies on defense. He is a rather seamless fit with the team and has improved as his minutes have gone up. He’s shooting 60 percent behind the arc, but has taken only 15 treys per game. He’s playing well, but producing below his potential.

Grade: B-plus

Stephen Curry: Curry is haunted by those two MVP awards, which set his personal bar north of Mt. Everest. By that standard, the veteran point guard has been average. Most stats are fine, but not the one for which he’s known: 3-point shooting. He’s at 38.1 percent, easily a career low. And just as it seemed he was finding his range, he rolls his ankle.

Grade: A-minus

Kevin Durant: The numbers and the eye test say he was not as focused early this season as he was early last season, when he was a force of nature. His efficiency declined as his turnovers went up. The combo forward has raised his game in recent weeks. In Curry’s absence, he has reengaged the devastating KD we know he can be.

Grade: A-minus

Draymond Green: He was, much like Durant, off his game early this season. His shot was off, but that’s not only the way to measure his game. No, it’s more that he seemed a bit harried and unfocused. The sixth-year forward pulled it together in recent weeks, approaching his usual standard, only to have his shoulder get cranky. He has more to give. We know it, and so does he.

Grade: B-plus

Andre Iguodala: The veteran wing has played well in spurts, not so well at other times -- and that applies to both ends. Maybe the knees are barking. Iguodala still generally finds a way to make a positive impact. No one is more trusted with the ball. Though he’s not best measured by shooting stats, they still matter and his numbers are down across the board from last season.

Grade: B

Damian Jones: The young center has spent the season with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors, having some tremendous games and some ordinary games. He’ll return later this season.

Grade: Inc.

Shaun Livingston: It has been an odd season for the veteran point guard, as even his automatic turnaround J, normally a lethal weapon against mismatches, has been inconsistent. While the rest of his game has been fairly steady and reliable, it’s that half-court scoring ability that sets Livingston apart.

Grade: B

Kevon Looney: His career felt uncertain as recently as last season, the third-year forward is fighting to stay in the league and get playing time with the defending champs. His weight is down, his agility is up and he is finding ways to be effective. He can hold his own against beasts in the paint and doesn’t embarrass himself on the perimeter.

Grade: A-minus

Pat McCaw: Unlike his rookie season, when the combo guard stepped in as if he belonged, McCaw started unevenly and it cost him playing time. His confidence dipped and he conceded that maybe he was thinking too much. He has had good moments, but seems so far to be a victim on the second-year wakeup call. His challenge is to find consistency.

Grade: B

JaVale McGee: No question McGee is playing at a level below from last season. The lob passes that worked so well are more often thwarted and the veteran center has not found another way to provide positive impact on offense. His asset-to-liability ratio, particularly on defense, has been less favorable. It’s costing him minutes.

Grade: C

Zaza Pachulia: It’s easier to live with the fumbled passes in the paint and the slow-mo layups when one considers his role as a low-minutes starter. He’s a hammer, a necessary tool for the Warriors to demolish opposing defenses. His 15 minutes per game are valuable against most opponents.

Grade: B-plus.

Klay Thompson: His scoring, which has gone up in each of his six seasons, is slightly down but every other aspect of his game has trended upward. His efficiency is at an all-time high; he’s within range of joining the ultra-exclusive 50-40-90 Club. These two months have been a sharp reply to the notion he might lose his All-Star status.

Grade: A

David West: For a 37-year-old who considered retirement, he has been incredibly productive at both ends. His PER is among the league’s top 10. His RPM is 25th in the league and third on the team. Averaging about 13 minutes per game, he’s shooting an absurd 67 percent from the field. He was good last year. He’s better now.

Grade: A

Nick Young: His start was slow and ponderous, as if he thoroughly enjoyed his offseason. He has improved his body and increased his stamina. Shooting is a given, and his 3-ball has been solid. As he adapts to new surroundings, other aspects (passing, defense) have been less catastrophic than they were in the opening weeks.

Grade: B

The next Trimester ends Feb. 14, when the All-Star Break begins.

Could Steph Curry buy the Panthers? 'I want in!'


Could Steph Curry buy the Panthers? 'I want in!'

The Carolina Panthers will soon be for sale. After allegations of workplace minconduct recently surfaced, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced Sunday night that he plans to put the team up for sale

It looks like Steph Curry wants to be more than just a fan of his hometown team. 

The Warriors' star was responding to Sean "Diddy" Combs saying he wants to buy the team. 

Diddy responded to Curry, looking to make a partnership on the Panthers.

Curry grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, when his father played shooting guard for the Hornets. He's frequently at Panthers games whenever he gets a chance. 

When the Panthers played the Broncos in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Curry was awarded with his own custom Panthers jersey and he banged the team drum before kickoff. 

Richardson was awarded the Panthers in 1993. The team played their first season in 1995.