Draymond Green is an emotional guy. That's a good thing, most of the time. His fire has fueled him throughout his career, from second-round pick to star. The problem is it can get out of control at times.
That's exactly what happened in the Warriors' locker room at halftime during a game against the Thunder on Feb. 27.
ESPN's Lisa Salters reported at the time that Green got into a shouting match with head coach Steve Kerr about his shot selection. It felt like a serious issue when it happened but new details about the confrontation claim that it was much worse than originally thought. In fact, things got so heated that the Oklahoma City police almost got involved.
The whole situation is recounted in a fantastic article about Green from ESPN's Ethan Sherwood Strauss:
Minutes later, in her report following halftime, ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters will recite a portion of Green's explosion: "I am not a robot! I know I can play! You have me messed up right now! If you don't want me to shoot, I won't shoot the rest of the game!"
"I'm standing outside the locker room with the Oklahoma City police, which are always stationed outside of every locker room," Salters will later recall. "They kind of moved me aside, and the officer just kind of stood by the door, with his hand on his weapon like he was trying to determine what he should do. It was clear that something bad was about to happen in this locker room. We've never heard anything like this before."
Things reportedly came to a head when Kerr yelled at Green to sit down and Draymond responded by saying "Motherf---er, come sit me down!" Other players had to come between them to prevent things from escalating.
The Warriors would later claim that it was just a normal flare up and blamed the media for making it out to be a bigger deal than it was. Going by Salters' account, it was anything but a routine argument. Any incident that shocks a seasoned reporter and causes police stationed by the locker room to come close to springing into action obviously transcends typical locker room disagreements.
The relationship between Kerr and Green clearly deteriorated more than previously believed last season. Whether the rift played a part on the Warriors failing to defend their title is hard to tell, as the team kept winning after that and Green continued to play at a high level.
Green's temper definitely contributed to Golden State blowing a 3-1 lead in the finals against the Cavaliers, though. He was terrific during the series but his Game 5 suspension for accumulation of flagrant fouls after an incident with LeBron James opened the door for the comeback. That's the issue with relying so much on someone as talented, but also as emotional as Green.
Strauss' article is filled with other anecdotes and quotes about how Green's fiery temperament both fuels the Warriors' success and could be the one thing that derails it. It's definitely worth your time, so make sure to check it out.