Draymond Green’s remarkable postseason has pushed beyond basketball, featuring Charles Barkley declaring he’d like to punch the emotional Golden State forward, a death threat from a frustrated fan who Green encouraged to get the help he needs, and an attempt by the All-Star to listen in on the Pelicans huddle.
Oh, and it just so happens Green also became the first Warriors player to ever average a triple-double in a postseason series, with 14.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 10.0 assists against New Orleans.
“He’s just incredibly engaged and locked in. This is the best I’ve seen him play all year,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Draymond has to play hard to do what he does. I think the playoffs have energized him.”
Green is at his best on the big stage and playing just on the edge — pushing boundaries by being just physical enough without crossing the line, dishing out just enough trash talk, though others may beg to differ.
Just as Barkley did.
Green flaps his mouth with the best of them in what many might consider over-the-top gamesmanship, engaging with Rajon Rondo — Green praised his opponent afterward — in what became a testy matchup during the Warriors’ five-game series win against the Pelicans. He tangled with Anthony Davis, too.
Green’s enormous personality prompted TNT analyst Barkley to go off and declare, “I want to punch him in the face, I really do.”
No biggie, Green just fired back.
“He’s seen me a million times. If he feels that strongly about it then punch me in my face when you see me,” Green said. “If you’re not going to punch me in my face when you see me then shut up.”
Barkley later apologized and called his comments inappropriate.
Green is in the middle of everything for the defending champion Warriors, and that’s right where they want him as they try for a repeat title.
Next up is a date with James Harden, Chris Paul and the top-seeded Houston Rockets.
“I live for playoff basketball,” Green said. “It’s the most fun time of the year for me, but just, you know, locking in and focusing.”
Other news • The Hornets have officially named James Borrego as head coach. The 40-year-old Borrego joins the Hornets after 15 seasons as an NBA assistant coach, including the last three with the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich. ... Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison, 37, is retiring after 15 years in the NBA. The 6-foot-10 Collison played in just 15 games this past season. His best season came in 2007-08, when he averaged 9.8 points and 9.4 rebounds in the last year before the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City.
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