Draymond puts on coaching cap, holds all Warriors accountable

Draymond puts on coaching cap, holds all Warriors accountable

OAKLAND -- Draymond Green spared no one, including himself, in a searing dissection of the collapse Friday night that resulted in the Warriors eating a 128-119 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

From coach Steve Kerr to reigning MVP Stephen Curry to two-time All-Star Klay Thompson to seven-time All-Star Kevin Durant to Green himself, words were not minced.

“If you look at the fourth quarter, Klay is standing,” Green began. “It’s not Klay’s fault; it’s our fault. It’s Steve’s fault. It’s my fault as a leader on the floor, as a floor general. It’s Steph’s fault as a floor general, to get us in place, to get everybody moving. So it’s not like it’s one guy’s fault. This is a team effort; we win together, we lose together. And as floor generals, people who initiate the offense, we’ve got to know that. We have to understand that he’s one of our most dangerous weapons.

“Yet in the fourth quarter, (Thompson) is not even a weapon. If you just having him standing there, then no one’s going to leave his body. So if he’s just standing there, he’s doing us no good.”

Understand, the Warriors blew a 24-point third quarter lead. They were outscored 49-21 in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Defense came and went. Diagrammed offensive plays were poorly executed. There was a level of self-immolation that should be beyond the team favored to win the NBA championship.

There was Green, in an animated discussion with Durant, beseeching his teammate to stay with what was working earlier, the things that helped them build what should have been a comfortable lead.

Green put on his coach’s cap and, in essence, pointed out things he believes everyone can and will see.

“That’s something we have to understand as guys who are handling the basketball,” Green said. “And our coaching staff has to understand that, as sometimes who’s calling the plays out of timeouts, it’s a complete group effort.

“As long as we continue to do things as a group, which we will, I’m not worried about it at all. We’ll be fine. But those are the things we have to notice. And make sure we correct if we want to be great.”

He said that, in a way, he was “thrilled” that the Warriors lost because defeat gets the attention of everyone and should promote improvement.

“It’s not about 73 wins,” he said, referring to last season’s record total. “It’s not about making the All-Star Game or All-NBA. It’s about getting better each and every time you step on the floor. And if you’re not, someone else is.

“I don’t matter who starts the season off the best. It’s who is the best at the end. It’s a process. You can’t skip the process. You have to embrace every moment of that process.”

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.

“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.

“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).

“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”

This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.

As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.

“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”

Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.

A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.

The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.

All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Kevin Durant didn't forget about the taunts.

In February, when Durant returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a member of the Warriors, Thunder fans heckled him with t-shirts featuring cupcakes, a reference to Durant being soft for joining the 73-win Warriors.

On Saturday, the cupcake graphic made a return with one slight change.

Durant, playing in JaVale McGee's JugLife Celebrity Softball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, showed up to the stadium wearing a cupcake hat. But instead of a cheery on top, a championship ring was superimposed on top of the cupcake.

So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.