Draymond Green Makes Sacrifice for Golden State Warriors’ Season

Draymond Green Makes Sacrifice for Golden State Warriors’ Season

Draymond Green knew what he had to do when he arrived at the Chase Center. After serving a one-game suspension for stomping on Kings’ center Domantas Sabonis in the fourth quarter of Game 2, he watched the Golden State Warriors’ win against the Sacramento Kings in Game 3 from home. Green saw that the Warriors’ spacing was better with only one big on the floor and that Kevon Looney, who had been filling in for him, was awesome.

Green spoke to Stephen Curry about his idea and then marched into coach Steve Kerr’s office to deliver the pitch. He proposed that only one big should start Game 4 and it should be Looney, not him. Green was proud that he could walk into the room and say he needed to come off the bench. This was a full circle moment for Green, who had started all but two of the 597 games he’s played for the Warriors since Kerr chose him to replace two-time All-Star David Lee in his first season as coach back in 2014.

Green was in his third season when he was made a full-time starter, and it unlocked the Warriors as we’ve come to know them for the better part of the past decade. Giving up that starting spot was not something Green or Kerr would ever do lightly. But it was clear that’s what needed to be done to help the Warriors get back in this series.

It is impossible to separate Green’s choice in Sunday’s game from the chaos his suspension had thrown the team into before Game 3. Whatever frustration there might have initially been toward Green at getting himself and the team into such a situation quickly turned to anger and resolve to avenge what many within the organization thought was an unjust suspension by the NBA, according to team sources.

The Warriors rallied around Green, publicly and privately, and then they went out and won by one point. The team’s style of play has changed quite a bit at key moments over the years, and Sunday’s lineup change might not usher in a new era for either the Warriors or the NBA. Green embraced the decision to bench himself, as Lee had done for him all those years ago. And he did so confidently.


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