Draymond Green calls Carmelo Anthony's long NBA absence 'bulls--t'

Draymond Green calls Carmelo Anthony's long NBA absence 'bulls--t'

PORTLAND -- The Warriors are slated to play their second game of the season against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night, but the first featuring new Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony.  

Anthony, who signed a non-guaranteed deal with Portland last month, has become a key contributor for the Blazers after a year-long absence from the league. But the style of his absence simultaneously has caused surprise and disappointment from the Warriors. 

"I just think it's the disrespect that goes around this league for a first-ballot Hall of Famer," Warriors forward Draymond Green told NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday. "Even if you don't think he can play, which obviously we all know he can, but even if you don't think he can play, he's a first-ballot Hall of Famer. If he wants to play basketball, then he should be able to play."  

Anthony has averaged 23.9 points, 3.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds for his career, but last played for the Rockets in November 2018 before the two sides "parted ways" after just 10 appearances from the 17-year veteran. Over a 12-month stretch, despite pleas from supporters and Anthony himself, he failed to land a contract with another team.

Most NBA observers point to Anthony's preseason press conference while a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder -- when he laughed off the notion of coming off the bench -- as a primary reason for his exile. However, Green disagreed. 

"It just gave people in a position of power the right to use it against him," Green said, using air-quotes while providing the statement.  "People who have done less for the game making decisions on people who have done more.

"It's bulls--t."

Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who has known Anthony's game for years as an executive, broadcaster and coach, felt similarly to Green.

"He's been a great player in the league for a long time," Kerr said during his media availability Wednesday. "It did surprise me."

Anthony's absence ended on Nov. 19, when the Blazers signed the forward at the behest of team cornerstones Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Over 13 games with the Blazers, Anthony has averaged 16.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while making a solid 42.6 percent of his 3-pointers. Anthony and the Blazers have won six of their last 10 games, as his addition has helped Portland find their way back in contention for a playoff spot.

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As a sign of his good play, the Blazers guaranteed his deal earlier this month, which hasn't shocked Kerr and Green. 

"He's been playing great and he's brought some energy and life to that team where they've needed it," Green said. "They've been struggling and he's brought life to that team and leadership." 

"He's a great offensive player and he's given them a different dimension. It also looks to me that he's given them a boost emotionally," Kerr added. "The players, they enjoy playing with him and his arrival has given them a jolt of energy. 

Warriors' Rick Welts only has one box score framed in his office

Warriors' Rick Welts only has one box score framed in his office

Rick Welts has seen a lot of basketball over the years. But one single performance stands out above the rest.

The Warriors' team president and chief operating officer was asked Wednesday morning on 95.7 The Game: "Quarantine game -- if you're stuck indoors for a full year, one TV, one game playing on a loop, 24/7, 365 -- what game is Rick Welts taking?"

The Hall of Famer provided a definitive answer:

"Let's see. Michael Jordan. Magic Johnson. Larry Bird. Actually not even a close call for me. I only have one box score framed in my office -- if I ever get to see my office again -- and that's Klay's 37-point quarter. Without a doubt -- the most amazing thing I've ever seen on a basketball court.

"I could never get tired of watching it. He was out of his mind. I'm not sure we'll ever see anything like that again. And the crowd was a big part of it because he reacted every time the crowd reacted. Our bench was insane.

"Everybody in the building knew they were seeing history being made."

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In the third quarter of the Warriors' win over the Sacramento Kings on Jan. 23, 2015, Klay Thompson went 13-for-13 overall, 9-for-9 from deep and 2-for-2 from the free throw line.

Very good choice, Mr. Welts.

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What sporting event Warriors' Jordan Poole will miss watching most

What sporting event Warriors' Jordan Poole will miss watching most

Warriors rookie Jordan Poole has many interests outside of basketball.

If you follow him on Instagram, you know that he loves cats.

The 20-year-old enjoys watching movies and TV shows, and generally considers himself a homebody.

Poole also likes other sports, and when Wes Goldberg of the Bay Area News Group asked him which canceled or postponed sporting events he is going to miss, the Michigan product provided an answer that might surprise you.

"I love watching the college World Series, I definitely like watching softball as well," he said. "March Madness was going to be cool of course, but that’s basketball. The college World Series is something sports-related that I was really looking forward to."

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How did Poole get into college baseball?

"I would watch the games when we were in school (at Michigan), go support my guys on the team, but I was really locked into the World Series," he answered. "Those games get pretty rowdy."

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Last year, Michigan reached the College World Series for the first time since 1984.

The Wolverines advanced all the way to the championship best-of-three series -- winning Game 1 before dropping the next two to Vanderbilt.

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