Draymond Green calls not playing LeBron James in NBA playoffs a 'mindf--k'

Draymond Green calls not playing LeBron James in NBA playoffs a 'mindf--k'

The NBA playoffs have looked a lot different this year, and it all starts with LeBron James. 

Or the lack thereof.

For the first time in 14 years, instead of chasing a crown that is an NBA title, The King is watching the postseason from afar. In James' first season as a Laker, his team finished as the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference with a 37-45 record. 

Other than LeBron himself, James' absence has to feel almost as surreal to the Warriors. As Golden State prepares to play in its fifth straight NBA Finals, this will be the first one where James will not be standing in their way.

"It's just weird to look over there to know that you're going to play someone completely different," Warriors forward Draymond Green said to Bleacher Report's Howard Beck. "It's kind of a mindf--k."

The two have had a long history of battles -- above and below the belt -- in the playoffs. This year, Green and the rest of the Warriors will have to find a new rival in the Finals. 

As the Warriors rest and look to get both Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins back to health, the Raptors have taken a three-games-to-two series lead over the Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals. Instead of the Chosen One, Draymond will have to continue his defensive wizardry on either the Greek Freak (Giannis Antetokounmpo) or The Claw (Kawhi Leonard). 

[RELATED: Drake guarantees Raptors will face Warriors in NBA Finals]

"It's just weird," Green said. "More as a basketball fan than anything: 'Damn, Bron not there.' It's super weird. You always relish the opportunity to play against a talent like that."

Change is inevitable. For the Warriors, though, they hope everything remains the same with a third straight championship, no matter who they have to face.

Why Steve Kerr isn't entertaining idea of Klay Thompson playing this year

Why Steve Kerr isn't entertaining idea of Klay Thompson playing this year

The Warriors were supposed to provide an official update on Klay Thompson's status during the All-Star break.

But it appears an announcement won't come until later this week.

Is coach Steve Kerr still operating with the mindset that Klay will not return to game action this season?

"It's so different because with Steph there's a definite timetable," Kerr told reporters Tuesday night after practice. "It's easy to look and say, 'In a couple weeks, Steph is gonna be ready to play.'

"Klay is a long way from that, so I don't even entertain any thoughts of Klay playing this year."

Yours truly feels the same way.

Klay tore his left ACL on June 13 and underwent surgery July 2.

The Warriors' last game is April 15 -- which is just 10 months removed from when he sustained the injury. Considering the team's current place in the standings, does it make sense to bring him back? We shall see.

It sounds like the final decision could be up to the three-time NBA champion himself.

[RELATED: Why Steph playing again this season still is so valuable]

“Klay might come back for a few games at the end. He might not,” owner Joe Lacob recently told Mark Medina of USA Today Sports. “That doesn’t matter so much. Maybe we’ll err on the cautious side. Maybe.

"That’s up to him.”

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

How Kevin Durant reacted to Ja Morant jabbing Steph Curry on Twitter

How Kevin Durant reacted to Ja Morant jabbing Steph Curry on Twitter

Two weeks ago, Warriors superstar Steph Curry and Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant made headlines because of a little social media spat regarding Andre Iguodala.

There wasn't any legit beef, however, as the two exchanged friendly DMs to clear the air.

Hey Kevin Durant -- why do you think Morant chose to tweet a picture of you holding the NBA Finals MVP trophy?

"I don't know. There's always been speculation about what my place was on the team, or what I meant to the team," the two-time NBA Finals MVP told Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks. "I don't think that got anybody on the Warriors upset that he posted a picture of me. 

"We're all brothers and we won championships together. It wasn't anything more than just a little jab I guess."

But what about the narrative that Golden State only won the title in 2017 and 2018 because of you?

"They got narratives for everything," KD said. "There's a lot of stuff the casual fan don't get about the game. So they make a lot of speculation on what they see. It's not the whole picture."

[RELATED: What frustrated KD most about in-game feud with Draymond]


OK. Let's move on. Nothing more to see here.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram