Warriors' Draymond Green still adjusting to new NBA height rules

Warriors' Draymond Green still adjusting to new NBA height rules

SAN FRANCISCO -- Early Wednesday morning, Warriors forward Draymond Green had a score to settle.

With his shoes off alongside Golden State's assistant trainer Roger Sancho, Green -- who has been listed at 6-foot-7 his entire career -- took his official height along a white wall.

"All y'all talking about I'm 6-5, here come the real measurement," Green said in the Instagram post. " ... 78 inches -- 6-6."

Green's video was in response to the NBA's new ruling for teams to release player's actual measurements. For years, the league has used standard height and weight for players, often not changing for years at a time.

Now, with the league enacting a stricter policy, players and coaches alike are adjusting.

"I sort laughed about it," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday afternoon. "I talked to Draymond every day for five years. They keep introducing him as 6-7 and he looks like he's two inches taller than me and I'm 6-2 1/2 so this has been going on forever."

The new policy -- which was first reported by The New York Times last month -- stems from an age discrepancy involving Kings guard Buddy Hield. As reported by NBC Sports California's James Ham, Hield, then 25, was listed as 26 years old.

As a result, many notable players have seen their measurements changed.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving - long-listed as 6-foot-3 - now is 6-foot-2, while rookie Zion Williamson -- who was listed as 6-foot-7 in college --  now is 6-foot-6.

Perhaps the most notable change is former Warriors forward Kevin Durant - who now is listed at 6-foot-10. Throughout his career -- despite admittingly looking taller -- the forward long-listed himself as 6-foot-9.

“For me, when I’m talking to women, I’m 7-feet," Durant told the Wall Street Journal. "In basketball circles, I’m 6-9. But really, I’ve always thought it was cool to say I’m a 6-9 small forward. Really, that’s the prototypical size for a small forward. Anything taller than that and they’ll start saying, ‘Ah, he’s a power forward.’"

Height and weight discrepancies are not new for the NBA. Former Timberwolves big man Kevin Garnett famously said he was 6-foot-11 and "some quarters" during his career. Lakers forward LeBron James -- notoriously tight-lipped about his weight -- was listed at 250 pounds for much of his career.

Now, for the players currently in the league, it doesn't seem to make a difference.

"It's more for the fans than it is for the players," Warriors guard Steph Curry said. "I don't think anyone feels any different as a player with his actual listing. I'm sure wherever KD is, he's not feeling different about not being 6-9 anymore so all that stuff is more for the fans and understanding what it's like when you walk on the floor [seeing] how truly big guys are but its more just another thing to talk about."

Curry was absent on the current list of player changes. Nonetheless, he set the record straight on his proper height, while going through several factors.

"Without shoes, I'm officially 6-2 3/4 but you don't play basketball without shoes," he said. "I don't play basketball without this fro so I might be 6-4 now."

As for Green's gripe, the newly minted 6-foot-5 forward has done well despite the lack of size, becoming one of the league's best defenders, including being named Defensive Player of the Year in 2017.

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Still, an extra inch wouldn't be protested.

"Everyone wants to be taller so it doesn't matter," Kerr said. "If the guy can play he can play. I don't care how tall Draymond is he's pretty damn good."

David West outlines how Warriors' Steph Curry deferred to Kevin Durant

David West outlines how Warriors' Steph Curry deferred to Kevin Durant

Throughout Kevin Durant's three-season tenure with the Warriors, some media and fans loudly wondered just whose team it was. 

For instance, Jay Williams, an ESPN analyst and Durant's friend, pondered on "Get Up" if "M-V-P" chants directed at Golden State star Steph Curry -- which Williams neglected to mention would be directed at Durant, too, when he played -- made Durant wonder if the Warriors could ever be his team. Never mind that Durant said -- from the beginning -- that his decision to join the Warriors was driven by his desire to improve as a basketball player, potential tension surrounding the Warriors' offensive pecking order was a constant storyline with Durant in the Bay Area. 

Yet David West, who played with Durant and Curry for two seasons, said Tuesday there wasn't much of a question in the Warriors' locker room.

"Before the issue could arise of whose team it was or who was going to get the ball to start the game, we saw right away in, like, the first couple pickup games: He deferred," West said of Curry on FS1's "The Herd" on Tuesday. "He was the bigger player and just said ... 'We're gonna start playing through KD in the fourth quarter. We're gonna close with KD.'"

Curry led the Warriors in field-goal attempts per game in two of the three regular seasons he played with Durant, with Durant leading the team in 2017-18 when Curry played just 51 games. Durant, however, led Golden State in shots per game in two of their three playoff runs, and won back-to-back NBA Finals MVPs.

Along with Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, Curry was one of the four Warriors who pitched Durant on coming to Golden State during their Hamptons meeting three summers ago. He knew what he was getting into by recruiting a fellow MVP, and West said Curry embraced that fact from the start. 

"That was a part of his way of sort of leading the group," West said. "[He] was like, 'I'm gonna take a backseat. Let's get the ball to KD. I'll find a way to do what I need to do."

[RELATED: Bowman has been Warriors' bright spot, looks like a keeper]

Curry's efforts to make Durant feel comfortable ultimately continued after they were teammates when he still visited with Durant after learning he had joined the Brooklyn Nets while on a flight from China. 

Given how West described the start of Curry and Durant's on-court relationship, that should have come as no surprise. 

Ky Bowman proving to be a keeper as Warriors' lone bright spot in loss

Ky Bowman proving to be a keeper as Warriors' lone bright spot in loss

Ky Bowman entered American Airlines Center in Dallas on Wednesday afternoon knowing only that he was going to play. He’s healthy, he’s a Warrior and these days that ensures minutes.

Not before tipoff against the Mavericks, Bowman got a mild surprise. He would be in the starting lineup, the nominal replacement for three-time All-Star Draymond Green.

Just like that, the undrafted rookie point guard -- operating on a two-way contract that signifies him as a fringe NBA player -- was in charge of being the Warriors’ court general.

And lead, Bowman did.

His teammates, however, didn’t do much following. The Warriors were rolled by the Mavericks, 142-94, and there never was much doubt.

In the kind of game every Warrior might want to forget -- blown out, lots of garbage time -- Bowman showed well. He performed at least as well as the coaching staff could have wanted: 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, including 2-of-3 from deep. He was the only Warrior to shoot at least 50 percent, and one of two without a turnover.

“It’s just a blessing for me to be here, to get with this opportunity,” Bowman told reporters in Dallas. “Just being able to be here with these guys and just learn and pick up things every night is big for me.”

Bowman displayed the kind of characteristics associated with smallish, pugnacious players, such as Clippers guard Patrick Beverley and Lakers guard Avery Bradley. His game is all about tenacity.

“Ky’s really tough, and he’s very competitive,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s doesn’t ever back down from anything or anybody. He’s not ever afraid out there.”

That’s the only way Bowman knows how to play. He’s 6-foot-1 at most, a shooting guard trapped in a point guard’s physique. He grew up in Havelock, N.C. thinking more about football than basketball. By the time he glimpsed his hoops future, football had become his mentality.

Not that it helped much against Mavericks star Luka Doncic, who is at least six inches taller and 45 pounds heavier than Bowman.

Luka owned this game, with 35 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. There wasn’t much Bowman or any other Warrior could do about it.

Which did not keep Bowman from trying.

“I mean it’s hard when someone is going like that, so just try to disrupt him in any way you can,” he said.

“I’m still going to pick up 94.”

The “pick up 94” reference relates to the 94-foot length of the court. It implies Bowman is willing, even eager, to defend every inch. It is, he says, his mindset.

That focus and intensity is what impressed the Warriors enough to offer the two-way contract. They could not have known they would lose superstar point guard Stephen Curry four games into the season, or that backup Jacob Evans III would play only three games before being sidelined for more than a month.

Or that combo guard D’Angelo Russell, who assumed Curry’s role once Stephen went town, would miss three games with a mild ankle sprain and then sustain a thumb sprain that has kept him off the court since last Friday.

This series of events shoved Bowman, who expected to spend most of the season with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League, into heavier NBA minutes than anticipated. He played 32 minutes in Dallas in a game the Warriors would like to bury.

“Flush it down the toilet,” Kerr said. “Literally, you just move on. You don’t take anything from a game like this.”

[RELATED: Warriors realizing Burks is a dependable scorer this season]

Said Bowman: “I say we just learn from this. We play again, you know? That’s the good thing about the NBA, is that there are so many games ahead. So just learning from this one and moving on to the next one.”

Regardless of Green’s status against the Jazz on Friday, Bowman can expect a lot of Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley. He’ll be mentally ready for the challenge, no matter the outcome.