Warriors

Draymond hilariously recalls good, bad Warriors memories in OKC

Warriors
Steph, Draymond

There was a time when a Warriors' trip to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder was circled on every NBA fan's calendar.

But a lot has changed over the last few years. The Thunder dismantled their superstar-laden roster and now are in full rebuild mode with a stockpile of first-round draft picks over the next few years. Kevin Durant no longer is a member of the Warriors but is now the focal point of the Brooklyn Nets.

When the Warriors play the Thunder on Tuesday night at Paycom Center, the memories of the heated rivalry will be just that, memories.

Some of the most memorable moments during the Warriors' dynasty took place in OKC.

Steph Curry's heroics on Feb. 27, 2016, that culminated in arguably the most iconic shot of his NBA career, a 40-foot 3-pointer in overtime that silenced a raucous OKC crowd.

Klay Thompson's incredible 11 3-pointer Game 6 performance in the 2016 Western Conference finals that helped the 73-win Warriors stave off elimination and force a Game 7 back in Oakland.

Then there was Durant's first game back in Oklahoma City after signing with the Warriors in free agency in the summer of 2016. Thunder fans were devastated and furious Durant had left them to join the team OKC had just lost to in the playoffs. He went from a legend to a cupcake in the eyes of Thunder fans. It was a hostile environment.

 

After shootaround Monday in Oklahoma City, Draymond Green was asked to recall his favorite memories in that arena, and he even brought up one he would like to forget.

"Steph hitting that shot ... was incredible," Green told reporters in Oklahoma City, via The Athletic's Anthony Slater. "Klay's Game 6 was incredible. [Kevin Durant's] first game back here, that s--t was fun. Crazy. That was fun. I'm not sure how fun it was for KD but it was definitely fun for me.

"It was incredible by the end of the night. Man, we were walking in the hotel at 4 a.m. with police security. That's crazy. We were on [ESPN's] SportsCenter live walking into the hotel at 4 a.m. That was sick. That was a good memory."

That's when Green eluded to the infamous locker-room argument between him and Warriors coach Steve Kerr at halftime of the game in Feb. 2016.

Green: "I also have a very bad memory in OKC, but we're not going to talk about that one."

Slater: "Why not? On the court or no?"

DG: "Eh."

AS: "Trying to remember. What am I thinking of? Oh, ok. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That is the Steph 40-footer game."

DG: "I know. But that completely overshadowed my moment, which was great."

AS: "It adds to the legacy of the game."

DG: "It was great. We had some words to say. It was good. I like to think if we didn't have that argument in the locker room, we'd have lost the game. See? Who knows."

En route to winning 73 games that season, the Warriors entered that game with a 52-5 record. Trailing by 11 points at halftime, Green and Kerr could be heard yelling at each other inside the locker room. The Warriors could have fractured that night, but they rallied behind Curry to beat the Thunder 121-118 in overtime for their 53rd win of the season. They finished the season with 20-4 run to break the Chicago Bulls' single-season wins record.

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Five years later, the two franchises are headed in very different directions. The Warriors enter Tuesday's game with a 3-0 record while the Thunder are 0-3. Golden State is trying to rekindle the championship fire whereas the Thunder are trying to groom all the young players they've drafted or acquired the last few years.

Green and Curry might create a new memory Tuesday night, but it will be very hard to top any of the previous moments from 2014 through 2019.

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