Warriors

How Draymond Green tackling Michael Beasley possibly changed NBA history

How Draymond Green tackling Michael Beasley possibly changed NBA history

Draymond Green has had an incredible career with the Warriors so far.

The No. 35 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft has won three NBA titles, captured the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, been named All-NBA twice and an All-Star three times.

Draymond also has been involved in several controversial moments, some of which have potentially reshaped franchise and NBA history.

Let's start with what happened in the closing seconds of Game 3 of the Warriors' first-round playoff matchup against the Houston Rockets in 2016.

After James Harden's bucket gave Houston a 97-96 lead with 2.7 seconds remaining, Golden State called timeout to advance the ball and dial up a play.

The inbounds pass went to Draymond, who fumbled the ball out of bounds with exactly one second remaining. For all intents and purposes, the game was over. But something significant happened before the final buzzer sounded.

As Trevor Ariza threw the ball to Jason Terry in the backcourt, Draymond took his frustration out on Michael Beasley in the frontcourt:

A lot of people did not see this in real time, and had no clue it happened until the next day when the NBA retroactively issued Draymond a Flagrant 1 -- his first flagrant point of the playoffs.

Let's move ahead to the 2016 Western Conference finals.

With a little less than six minutes remaining in the second quarter of Game 3, Draymond tried to draw a foul on Thunder big man Steven Adams and kicked his right leg into the air.

His shin made contact with Adams's groin region, and he was assessed a Flagrant 1 after a lenghty review.

The following day, the NBA announced it was upgrading the ruling to a Flagrant 2. This gave Draymond three flagrant points in the playoffs, meaning he would receive a one-game suspension on his next flagrant foul.

Sure enough, the suspension was triggered after Game 4 of the NBA Finals when the league determined that "Green made unnecessary contact with a retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James with 2:48 remaining in the fourth quarter."

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Draymond ended up watching Game 5 alongside Warriors general manager Bob Myers and NFL running back Marshawn Lynch from a suite nextdoor at the Oakland Coliseum.

If he was in uniform that night, Golden State likely wins back-to-back titles. The domino effect is that Kevin Durant almost assuredly doesn't sign with the Warriors a month later.

"If we win the championship, I'm like 99 percent sure we don't get him," Draymond told ESPN's Zach Lowe in June 2017. "There are silver linings to everything."

Crazy stuff.

Everybody remembers the "below the belt" plays with Adams and LeBron, yet tons of people forget about the very unnecessary throwdown of Beasley that didn't need to happen whatsoever. In the end, it possibly altered the course of history.

Now, let's go back in time a couple months.

On Feb. 27, 2016 -- during halftime of the Warriors' epic win over the Oklahoma City Thunder -- Draymond and coach Steve Kerr nearly got into a physical altercation in the locker room.

As ESPN's Lisa Salters reported, Draymond screamed: "I am not a robot! I know I can play! You have me messed up right now! If you don't want me to shoot, I won't shoot the rest of the game!"

Here's an excerpt from an October 2016 article by Ethan Strauss:

When Kerr tells him to sit down, Green screams, "Motherf---er, come sit me down!" When he goes after Kerr, his teammates, including (Steph) Curry and (Klay) Thompson, step in to stave off disaster.

The Warriors ended up fining Draymond, but he was not suspended -- or traded.

Whoa. Traded?

Here's what Howard Beck of Bleacher Report wrote in May 2018:

Green's mood was still foul, and he left the arena that day (in OKC) believing his days as a Warrior were numbered. He feared the relationship had been fractured, that the Warriors would choose Kerr over him. That he'd be traded.

"One hundred percent," Green tells B/R. "Especially with the success that he was having as a coach. Like, you just don't get rid of that."

In his lowest moments, Green expressed his fears of being traded to both his mother and (Tom) Izzo. "We all thought Dray would have been traded after the Oklahoma incident," (Mary) Babers-Green says."

You think things turn out a little different if Golden State parted ways with its heartbeat?

[RELATED: '17 Dubs vs. '96 Bulls: Dray, Rodman cut from same cloth]

Finally, there is one additional incident we can't ignore.

The whole basketball world knows what happened between Draymond and KD on the bench before the start of overtime during the Warriors' loss to the LA Clippers on Nov. 12, 2018.

In late October, the two-time NBA Finals MVP was asked on ESPN's morning show "First Take" if the altercation played a role in him leaving the Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets.

"A little bit, yeah," Durant said. "For sure. When your teammate talks to you that way, you think about it a bit ... definitely, for sure. I'm not gonna lie about it."

Obviously, this can't be dismissed. But based on everything that has come to light over the last year or so, it certainly seems like KD wasn't going to stay with the Dubs beyond the 2018-19 season no matter what happened.

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Steph Curry jokes about why ex-Warrior Andre Iguodala finished big dunk

Steph Curry jokes about why ex-Warrior Andre Iguodala finished big dunk

Andre Iguodala had a very ...

... Andre-Iguodala-like performance in the Miami Heat's 112-106 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.

The former Warriors forward registered six points (2-for-6 FG), eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal in 31 minutes.

With fewer than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, he turned back the clock a little bit.

Steph Curry shared the highlight in an Instagram story, and included the perfect caption.

Curry -- the only unanimous MVP in NBA history -- and Iguodala -- the 2015 NBA Finals MVP -- are avid golfers, and even played a round together at Augusta National Golf Club (the site of the Masters) in February 2016.

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

Iguodala became a golf fanatic shortly after he joined the Warriors in July 2013.

"I gotta give all the credit to (former Golden State assistant coach) Pete Myers," Iguodala said in March 2018. "Once I got here, I really wanted to learn how to play ... Pete Myers taught me how to hit a draw.

"And we would just go to the range and hit balls ... he kinda got me hooked and that was all she wrote."

[RELATED: Iguodala jokes he bet big on Steph to win golf tournament]

And one year later, he made one thing crystal clear.

Those were good times.

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Steve Kerr defends Warriors' Andrew Wiggins: 'He's a damn good player'

Steve Kerr defends Warriors' Andrew Wiggins: 'He's a damn good player'

When the Warriors acquired Andrew Wiggins at the NBA trade deadline in February, it was not a decision that universally was applauded. 

There still are people who disagree with Golden State's decision to acquire the No. 1 overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft. But even those who are skeptical about Wiggins' future would admit that he played well in a Dubs uniform this season.

"I wasn't surprised at all about what we saw because I've coached against him," Steve Kerr said Wednesday on "The Bill Simmons Podcast." "The biggest thing for us was all about what you need today to win games. The game has changed so much and it's so hard to guard ... you gotta have size and versatility on the wings.

"Multiple-positional defenders who can guard their position, but also guard two or three other positions. Andrew has the size and athleticism to do exactly that. He was an excellent defender for us, and played really well offensively.

"He may not be an MVP candidate, but he's a damn good player. He fits right in with what we're trying to do."

Wiggins averaged 19.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists over 12 games with Golden State, while shooting nearly 46 percent overall and 34 percent from deep.

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

Additionally, his 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals per game both would be career highs over a full season.

With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson as teammates, Wiggins won't feel consistent heat to deliver big scoring outputs. Will there be times when the Warriors need him to step up and take over offensively? Yes.

[RELATED: Warriors owner Lacob cites Barnes when praising Wiggins]

But overall, he's going to have the luxury of being able to take on a more comfortable role that suits his game.

"He just wants to play basketball and have fun, and have no pressure on him," former Warriors point guard Tim Hardaway said in June. "This is the team to be on to do that, and he's going to excel.

"He's going to be all right."

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