Warriors

Warriors' Draymond Green sends message to haters, thanks them for fuel

Warriors' Draymond Green sends message to haters, thanks them for fuel

It was not a fun 2019-20 season for Warriors forward Draymond Green.

The three-time NBA champion shot below 39 percent from the field and less than 28 percent from 3-point territory. He missed 22 games with various ailments, yet he picked up a league-high 14 technical fouls.

But here's the truth: Once Steph Curry broke his hand against the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 30, everything changed for Green and the Warriors. It immediately became apparent that the team wasn't going to the playoffs, and attention shifted to D'Angelo Russell's future with the franchise and the 2020 NBA Draft.

While some might disagree, yours truly is giving the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year a pass. He was an indispensable part of the Warriors reaching the NBA Finals for five consecutive years and winning three titles.

The guy suited up for 104 of Golden State's 105 playoff games over that stretch (he was suspended for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals), averaging 37.7 minutes per night.

Plenty of people out there believe Green's best basketball is behind him. Some believe he's "washed up," which is beyond ridiculous.

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Let's remind you that during last year's playoffs -- you know, when the games really matter -- the two-time All-NBA selection averaged 13.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game, while shooting just under 50 percent overall and playing phenomenal defense.

As Draymond told Marcus Thompson of The Athletic during the Warriors' second-round NBA playoff matchup with the Houston Rockets:

“How (Eminem) say it? Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got something to say. But nothing comes out when they move their lips. Just a bunch of gibberish. And motherf--kers act like they forgot about Dray.

“If somebody think I’m washed and done at 29, they’re stupid. So good for them for being an idiot. But it’s OK. It’s the time of year where I like to show what it’s really about.”

And during a recent conversation with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on Showtime's "All the Smoke" podcast, Draymond issued a message to his doubters:

"To everybody out there who want to talk s--t about this year -- I don't really give a f--k," he said. "In my opinion, I got better. I got better as a player, I got better as a person and a leader ... and that's gonna make me even better for next year.

"So, I appreciate everybody talking. I kind of needed them to relight that fire under my a--."

Speaking of next season, that's when the four-year, $99.7 million contract extension he signed last summer kicks in. Draymond knows the vultures will be out in full force if he doesn't back up these strong statements. He's putting the pressure on himself to deliver, and that's awesome.

So, what in particular does the 30-year-old want to accomplish?

"I think one year I shot like 38 or 39 percent from 3," Draymond said. "So, my personal challenge to myself is to get that back. I've kind of had to restructure my jump shot, kind of restructure my whole body. After we swept the Cavs in the (2018) Finals, my hip was bothering me. The next day, I couldn't really walk.

"I ended up getting my hips checked out and stuff, and there were some issues. I had to recorrect -- strengthen my core, which is something I never even really knew. In doing all of that, it kind of changed my shot because it changed the way I lift up.

"If I can get that back to above 36 percent -- possibly shoot 40 percent, which I know I'm more than capable of -- the league is in trouble again if I can do that. That's my goal."

During the 2015-16 season, when Draymond was named All-NBA Second Team and finished seventh in the MVP voting, he shot 38.8 percent from deep.

Anything else?

"And to be an All-Star again," he said. "It's honestly been dope as hell these last two All-Stars to go on vacation with my kids and my fiancée. But I got that itch again. I got to three straight, and I'm like, 'Yeah, all right. I knew I could do it.'

"I kind of lost that itch. ... I got that itch again. I want to get back there."

If Draymond delivers on these goals, the Warriors probably will be in title contention again.

Obviously, we need to see what happens with the coronvavirus pandemic and find out what the Warriors do with the roster during the offseason before we can fully grasp their place in the NBA's hierarchy.

Draymond -- your thoughts please:

[RELATED: Draymond lists several reasons why Barkley jealous of him]

We'll leave you with a couple more comments from Draymond:

"I think so many people get pissed off that I am who I am -- and I've had the success that I've had -- but I don't do what they can see -- which is a scorer. So many people think they know basketball and don't know s--t ... talking basketball and x's and o's, I'll f--king run circles around most people in this world.

"Yeah, Steph Curry do make me better. Yeah, Klay Thompson do make me better. And? I make them better. By the way, people talk all this s--t about shooting. I'll put this up against anybody -- if not No. 1, I'm definitely top-two or three -- I think I'm the best screen-setter to ever play in the NBA. And that's just real.

"I'm a great defender, but I don't think there's anybody to ever f--king touch the NBA that can set better screens than me. I take pride in that. But there's a lot of dumbf--ks that don't even realize that."

I'm sold. Say no more.

If you're looking to get rid of your Draymond Green stock, I'll buy it all from you.

Please, and thank you.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

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.

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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.

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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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