Warriors

'It's totally normal': Green, Warriors clear their dirty air

'It's totally normal': Green, Warriors clear their dirty air

OAKLAND -- Fully aware of frequent replays on video, Draymond Green freely admitted to having a heated exchange with Warriors teammate Kevin Durant last Saturday in Sacramento.

“It was actually (about) a tactic,” Green said Tuesday, hinting at the reason voices were raised in the middle of a game. “But that’s for us to know and everyone else to figure out.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr also made no attempt to dodge the emotional moment.

What both men say, and insist, is that there is no fire behind the smoke -- and that, really, there was barely a puff of smoke.

“KD and Draymond are best of friends and they’re together every night, laughing and joking,” Kerr said. “So when something happens on the floor, I don’t even bat an eye. It’s just competitive, heat-of-the-moment stuff.

“We played an awful game. I coached an awful game. It was a bad night for all of us, so there was plenty of that to go around. I don’t even think twice about any of it.”

The Warriors were beaten in most every phase in Sacramento, and the loss snapped a 13-game Warriors win streak over the Kings.

Yet much of the discussion focused on what was seen of Green and Durant. Green turned the tables on media, which took note of incident and turned it into a three-day talking point.

“It used to be funny,” he said of reports suggesting drama within the team. “At this point, it’s just ridiculous. Yeah, I guess it is funny, people making fools out of themselves. But we kind of sit and laugh at it, everyone else together.”

To be sure, the Green-Durant tiff obscured several other moments of expressed frustration between teammates.

There was a moment between Andre Iguodala and Green, another between Iguodala and, from the looks of it, James Michael McAdoo. There was, based on body language, general irritation with some of Klay Thompson’s shot selection as well as Green’s decision-making.

“We had all kinds of arguments that game,” Kerr conceded. “It’s totally normal.”

What was not normal, though, was the public nature, that the Warriors would so visibly display their displeasure with each other.

It’s necessary for growth, suggested Green. Family disagreements happen, and some of these spilled out onto the sidewalk. As long as they’re purposeful and coming from the right place, the Warriors seem to be saying, dissent is healthy.

“It’s constructive,” said co-captain Stephen Curry. “We try to understand how we’re going to get better. It comes from a place of respect between everybody on this team, including those two guys (Green and Durant).

“Nobody takes anything personally. Nobody goes home and cries about it. Everybody wants to win. And in that moment, it might get heated. It might happen in front of cameras. It might happen in the locker room. It might happen in practice. It might be a phone call, offline or whatever. Those kinds of conversations need to happen so that we continue to try to get better and challenge each other to not get complacent.”

Green, it must be known, is not one to bite his tongue. He’s prone to flareups. He’s also willing to listen.

He’s a clear-the-air kind of dude, and he’s not going to change. The Warriors, coaches and players, don’t want him to.

“If you’ve got to hide something from one of your teammates, and you can’t say something to somebody, you’re in a bad situation,” Green said. “And me, personally, I don’t want to be in that situation.

“If you’re on a team where you can’t talk, where there are moments that you need to yell at each other, maybe that yelling is to get each other going . . . you don’t know what that is. And no one else knows what that is. If there is a team like that, please make sure I’m on the first thing smoking out of there. Because that team ain’t for me.”

Report: Rockets among teams interested in Jimmy Butler

Report: Rockets among teams interested in Jimmy Butler

Could Jimmy Butler go home to Houston?

Apparently, the Rockets are interested in trying to make it happen, though we're not sure how the numbers would work out.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets, Nets, Pistons, Clippers, Heat, 76ers and Blazers are "interested in talking further with Minnesota" about trying to acquire the four-time All-Star. The Cavs are also interested acquiring Butler, according to Woj.

Houston has a problem, though. They are already $11.444 million over the luxury cap threshold. Butler is set to make $20.445 million in 2018-19 and $19.841 million in 2019-20, so the Rockets would have to do salary cap gymnastics to make a deal work.

On Friday, GM Daryl Morey told The Houston Chronicle that the Rockets are "doing what we can to prepare for" the Warriors.

Acquiring Butler would certainly fit that messaging.

Daryl Morey admits Rockets make most decisions with Warriors in mind

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AP

Daryl Morey admits Rockets make most decisions with Warriors in mind

Grass is green, the sky is blue, and Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is still obsessed with knocking off the Warriors.

Morey admitted as much in an interview with the Houston Chronicle, telling the paper that "a very high percentage" of the Rockets' decisions this offseason are made with one thing on their mind:

Same as last year, it's very likely to win the title we're going to have to beat the Warriors at some point. We're doing what we can to prepare for them. To me, that's what any rational person would do. I'm intrigued by some thinking it's odd that we say that. Maybe because it's not a norm. Ask any fan, 'Who do you have to beat to win the title?' They're going to say 'the Warriors.' It seems like [general manager] speak or coachspeak to not say that.

Morey told anybody who would ask last season that the Rockets were single-mindedly obsessed with beating the Warriors in the playoffs. Houston came close last season, jumping out to a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals, before Golden State stormed back to win the final two games in Rockets star Chris Paul's injury absence.

Morey responded with a substantial makeover of his roster. Defensive stoppers Luc Mbah a Moute and Trevor Ariza are gone, while Carmelo Anthony, Michael Carter-Williams, Marquese Chriss, James Ennis and Brandon Knight are in. The Rockets were one of the West's best defensive teams last season, and Morey expects the team to withstand the loss of Ariza and Mbah a Moute.

"We can be [as strong defensively]," Morey told the Chronicle. "They were both extremely good defenders. So it will be a challenge. That was a big part of our meeting. [Assistant coach Roy Rogers] was walking through what changes and how excited he was with what he was planning to do and the personnel we have to be better than last year."

Morey -- as well as the Warriors -- will get a first look at whether or not Houston's offseason was successful on Nov. 17, when the Rockets host the defending NBA champions.