Draymond Green, Jusuf Nurkic feud continues on court, in postgame comments
During the game, elbows were flying and “too small” taunts were exchanged between Jusuf Nurkic and Draymond Green.
Postgame, things got even nastier with their comments.
Saturday was the first time Green and Nurkic faced off since Green elbowed Nurkic in the face, which led to Green’s indefinite suspension. While nothing quite that dramatic happened on the court, the tension between the two was palpable. They exchanged “too small” taunts, had one face-to-face moment, and the elbows and physicality were constant all game. Green, playing with that edge, had one of his best games since returning from suspension with 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in a dramatic 113-112 Warriors win.
It’s after the game that things got spicy.
It started with Nurkic speaking in the Suns’ locker room, quote via NBC Sports Bay Area.
“It’s sad. He didn’t learn anything,” Nurkić told reporters at Chase Center. “Just a matter of time. He’s going to hit somebody else again. Take back everything I said. He don’t deserve a chance.”
Green shrugged it off on the podium when he heard the comments.
“He tried to get in my head and it didn’t work. If he wants me to walk around quiet like him, I’m never going to do that. Quiet guys don’t win. He can keep riding that same horse that he rode in on. He can ride his ass home out of here on the same horse. It’s not working. He was hitting me a lot today. It was a lot of little cheap shots. I knew his goal was to get me out the game. No one wants to see me in the game. That makes the game a lot tougher. It’d take a pretty good ish talker to get me to do that. That’s too obvious. It’s OK. That was a fun game.”
Whether Green has to be loud and flirt with the edge to be this good is irrelevant — he believes he is better this way, and therefore he is. This is the Green the Warriors need to make a run over the final third of the season.
Stephen Curry loved this version of Green.
If the postseason started today, both the Suns (seventh seed) and Warriors (10th) would be headed to the play-in. For the next couple of months both teams — and Green and Nurkic — need to focus on improving that, not so much each other.