Warriors

Draymond responds to Barkley's comments, challenges him to 'punch me in my face'

Draymond responds to Barkley's comments, challenges him to 'punch me in my face'

OAKLAND -- Draymond Green plays with a raw emotion that feeds the Golden State Warriors. He also dances on the razor thin edge between reckless abandon and completely out of control.

The Warriors are used to seeing both sides of their talented power forward and so is a national television audience. On Tuesday evening, Green mixed it up with both Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo at different points of the game.

Going into halftime, Green and Rondo had a verbal altercation before the teams left the floor. The conversation was caught on camera and TNT analyst Charles Barkley had a few thoughts on Green’s antics.

“I just want someone to punch him in the face,” Barkley said during halftime. “I really do. I just want someone to punch him in the face.”

“I’m just telling you, I want to punch his ass in the face, I really do,” Barkley continued.

Barkley, a known instigator as a player, probably would have had plenty of confrontations with Green if they played during the same era.

During his post game interview, Green was asked about Barkley’s comments and in typical fashion, he came out swinging.

“He’s seen me a million times, if you feel that strongly about it, then punch me in my face when you see me,” Green responded. “If you’re not going to punch me in the face when you see me, then shut up.”

“It’s no different than someone sitting behind a computer screen tweeting, ‘I’ll knock you out’ and you never see it in real life,” Green continued. “Well, he’s seen me a bunch of times and he’ll see me again this year. Punch me in the face when you see me or no one cares when what you would have done. You old and it is what it is. If you ain’t going to punch me when you see me then stop talking about it, period.”

Green followed up his rant by both literally and figuratively dropping the mic.

In addition to drawing the ire of Barkley, Green also scored 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting while chipping in 12 assists and nine rebounds in the Warriors 121-116 win. He was a catalyst in the victory as Golden State took a 2-0 lead in the series and improved to 6-1 in the 2017-18 playoffs.

Warriors' Steph Curry continues activism with police brutality protest

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Warriors' Steph Curry continues activism with police brutality protest

On the corner of Perkins and Grand in Oakland, Warriors guard Stephen Curry put both of his hands up and spoke a sentence black folks have been chanting for much of their American existence. 

"Hands up!" Curry yelled amongst fellow protestors near Oakland's Lake Merritt. "Don't shoot!"

On the same block, Curry took a knee in protest of police brutality that has crippled Black America. The image was a reminder of the activist Curry has become off the court in recent years.

His latest act came in the wake of George Floyd's tragic death in Minneapolis police custody. Floyd -- a 46-year-old Black male -- died after officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd was detained after allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill and resisting arrest, although nearby security cameras showed he didn't resist. In his final moments, Floyd could be heard screaming, "I can't breathe" and "mama." 

The killing has inspired protests all over the world. Wednesday's protest -- organized by Curry's teammate Juan Toscano Anderson -- drew an estimated 300 people to walk around Lake Merritt. Fellow Warriors Klay Thompson and Damion Lee also attended the protest.

The location of Curry's kneel is noteworthy. Lake Merritt is situated three miles away from North Oakland, where the Black Panther Party was formed. A mile away from the intersection Curry kneeled, the Panthers started the free breakfast program for kids. For much of its history, Oakland has been the country's epicenter for change and Curry was a part of the latest iteration. 

Social causes aren't new for the guard. Last summer, Curry's financed the creation of the Howard University golf program. With his contribution, the Bison men's team will play in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, while the women will play as independents. In addition, he outfitted them all in Under Armour apparel -- the shoe company that sponsors him -- and funded three scholarships for the school. 

In 2014, before Game 5 of Golden State's first-round playoff series against the Clippers, Curry was among a group of players ready to boycott if Clippers owner Donald Sterling wasn't banned by NBA commissioner Adam Silver following leaked racist remarks. Three years later, he said President Donald Trump's words were rooted in "racism" after he criticized LeBron James' intelligence in a tweet. Curry even spoke out against Under Armour in 2017, after CEO Kevin Plank called Trump an "asset" to the United States.

“If there is a situation where I can look at myself in the mirror and say they don’t have my best intentions, they don’t have the right attitude about taking care of people,” Curry told The Mercury News in 2017. “If I can say the leadership is not in line with my core values, then there is no amount of money, there is no platform I wouldn’t jump off if it wasn’t in line with who I am. So that’s a decision I will make every single day when I wake up. If something is not in line with what I’m about, then, yeah, I definitely need to take a stance in that respect.”

Curry's latest act comes on the same day New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees doubled down on his take that athletes shouldn't kneel during the national anthem. 

[RELATED: Poole: Brees reveals he's part of problem, not solution]

Brees' comments are a common retort for an uninformed person of privilege. Feigning patriotism behind the flag while ignoring why Colin Kaepernick and Curry kneeled in the first place. Disregarding that Kaepernick consulted a green beret before his demonstration and kneeled in respect for the anthem. Brees' stance, like that of many other similar public figures, is lazy, ignorant and dangerous. 

Curry, unlike Brees, will on the right side of history at his current pace. 

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Steph Curry among Warriors at Juan Toscano-Anderson's Oakland protest

Steph Curry among Warriors at Juan Toscano-Anderson's Oakland protest

How did Warriors superstar Steph Curry spend his Wednesday afternoon?

He took part in a peaceful protest against police brutality and systemic racism at Lake Merritt in Oakland.

Curry and his wife, Ayesha, kneeled during the protest.

Juan Toscano-Anderson, an Oakland native and Warriors forward, organized the event.

"No matter the color of your skin, where you're from, how much money you got -- it doesn't matter," Toscano-Anderson said to those who gathered. "We're all human beings. We're all here for the same purpose.

"Right now, it's about black people. But for humanity, there's people all over the world being oppressed. We're just trying to take a step in the right direction."

[RELATED: Brees still believes kneeling is 'disrespecting the flag']

Additional members of the Warriors arrived after the walk began.

Protests around the country continue in response to George Floyd's tragic death last week while in police custody in Minneapolis.