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Is It Time for a Green New Deal? Time to Kick Rocks

Last night may have been the breaking point for the Golden State Warriors and Draymond Green.

If the Warriors tell Green that’s it’s time to step, I think it’s safe to say his right ankle is okay to kick rocks.

And I’m glad to hear that Domantas Sabonis’ chest, ribs, and sternum are okay. He gets that iron-clad toughness from his daddy.

Question is, did Green’s move breathe new life into my favorite Brothers Johnson groove?

Seriously, though, it’s sad to see the demise of the Golden State Warriors before our very eyes.

It’s even sadder that this unraveling started back in the pre-season when one teammate punched another. And, like the leak of Pentagon documents, while you wish it hadn’t breached the privacy of the team, in a way you were glad to get an inside look at the pressure cooker that is Draymond Green.

Sabonis got an up close and personal look at Green’s sole (sic) last night, after grabbing on to Green’s ankle in the scrum that followed the Malik Monk miss and ensuing rebound.

Granted, a step over is a move of disrespect and borderline taunting in the NBA and all of professional sports, and Sabonis wasn’t having it from the NBA’s most notorious antagonist. (Yes, Dray makes Patrick Beverly look like a saint this season).

In watching the video replay numerous times, there are several more factors in this entanglement that just Sabonis getting the bottom of Green’s Converse. Pay close attention and you will see Sabonis attempt to hook the arm of Klay Thompson. As he’s succumbing to gravity, that grab slides to Green’s ankle.

At that point is where Green’s defense of his move – albeit shaky at best – comes in. 

“My leg got grabbed. Second time in two nights. (The first being in Game One by Monk). I have to land my foot somewhere. I’m not the most flexible person, so it’s not stretching that far,” argued Green.

It landed on Sabonis’ chest, prompting the Flagrant 2 foul and ensuing ejection.

Part of Green’s persona and the perception of crazy gone too far, though, was his response to the ejection and the UFC-like, egocentric antics to engage and enrage with a crowd of 18,253 raucous Sacramento Kings fans, none of which were sad to see him leave the game.

Sacramento would go on to win the game and go up 2-0 in the series, a position that the Stephen Curry era and/or a Steve Kerr-coached team have never been in before.

But would last night have happened if the Warriors had parted ways with Green back in October of 2022, after he decked Jordan Poole after some in-practice trash talk?

At that time, I reflected that the Warriors should have considered trading Green to the Boston Celtics for Al Horford. A Green New Deal, if you will, that we can all agree with and accept.

My argument?

That Green’s intensity and basketball intellect were something that the Celtics lacked in their match-up with the Warriors in last year’s NBA Finals. 

And that Horford – who’s really not nor has ever been a center by the practical definition (but has been forced to play that position his entire career) – fit better talent-wise, outside shooting-wise, and size-wise with what the Warriors do.

2022-23 STATISTICAL COMPARISON

DRAYMOND GREEN AL HORFORD
POINTS 8.5 9.8
REBOUNDS 7.2 6.2
ASSISTS 6.8 3.0
FG PERCENT .527 .476
FT PERCENT .713 .714
3FG PERCENT .305 .446
GAMES 73 63
MINUTES 31.5 – 2,297 30.5 – 1,922
TOTAL POINTS 617 616
TRIPS TO THE LINE 108 21
OFF REBOUND 66 73
DEF REBOUND 459 317
TOTAL REBOUND 525 390
STEALS 74 30
BLOCKS 60 61
FOULS 229 121
TURNOVERS 204 37
HEIGHT 6’6” 6’9”
WEIGHT 230 240
YRS. EXP. 11 16
SALARY $25,806,468 $26,500,000

As you can see, Green’s smaller size is made up for in effort, and while I’d never advocate for Green to play center, he could have been a great mentor for the already solid Marcus Smart and helped Robert Williams’ toughness and hone Williams’ skills into being a more effect big man, defensively.

And if Sabonis had gotten stepped on last night anyway, it would have felt more like a marshmallow from Horford than the jackhammer every claims that it was from Green.

That’s where reputation factors into the officials’ decision to flag him with a tech and/or eject him from the game.

Someone needs that toughness … Dallas, L.A., New York … maybe even the Celtics. Who knows?

It’s just not the Golden State Warriors anymore.

 

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Tracy Graven is the Senior NBA Analyst for BackSportsPage.com.
He has written the NBA, done NBA Radio, and appeared as a guest for the last 21+ years for HoopsWorld, Swish Magazine, HoopsHype, the Coach Scott Fields Show, NBARadioShow.com, and is also tackling the NFL, NCAA, and will be pinch-hitting on some Major League Baseball coverage for BackSportsPage.
He’s spent 21 years in locker rooms in Orlando, Boise (CBA, G League), San Antonio, Phoenix, Denver, Oklahoma City, and Atlanta. 

A corporate trainer by day, he currently resides in SEC Country near Knoxville, Tennessee.
Reach him on Twitter at @RealTMoneyMedia  

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