Despite his previous criticism of the NBA play-in tournament, Draymond Green can't wait for the Warriors to square off against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night at the Staples Center.
"I'm excited as hell," Green said in an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "I think playing against the Lakers, the defending champions, with an opportunity to solidify our spot in the playoffs -- the stage doesn't get any bigger than LA."
Adam Silver and every major network's dream came true. Steph Curry and Green against James and Anthony Davis in the bright lights of Hollywood. The winner becomes the No. 7 seed and faces the Phoenix Suns, while the loser faces either the Memphis Grizzlies or San Antonio Spurs in a win-or-go-home game on Friday.
Green made it clear multiple times throughout the season that he wasn't motivated by the play-in tournament. Now that it's here, and against the Lakers, that mindset clearly has changed.
"I've been very vocal about the play-in tournament. But this is great. I'm excited about this. This is a great opportunity for us."
The Warriors are the clear underdogs against the Lakers with a healthy James and Davis. Green, who shares the same agent as the Lakers' two superstars, has grown a friendship with LeBron and AD off the court.
Don't get that confused with how he goes after them on the court.
"There hasn't been any extracurricular trash talk," Green said of his relationship with James and Davis. "Everyone always says, 'Oh man, why are they friends? That sucks.' That's what makes it fun for us. To be able to go out there and destroy your friend, destroy your brother. When you go in there, they try and take your head off. When they come in our lane, we're tryin' to take their head off.
"And that's what it boils down to."