Basketball’s most underrated assignment
BY DAVID THORPE
Draymond Green was rattled. Badly.
He had expected booing Celtics fans, but as he told JJ Reddick on The Old Man and the Three podcast shortly after the Finals ended: “I never expected to hear 21,000 people screaming, ‘Fuck you, Draymond!’”
Normally, he explained, he’d dive into his on-court play when things got crazy in the stands. His poor play in these Finals (to that point) made that impossible. The vitriol only deepened his misery.
Heading into Game 4, the Warriors were down 1-2. Stephen Curry had suffered a foot injury in Game 3. Green was in free fall. It was a must-win road contest for the Dubs, and things were looking grim.
Though we know what happened, very few knew why. Green thinks he does.
As Game 4 opened, Curry was already showing more emotion and talking more trash than anyone was accustomed to seeing. Ever.
He ended up scoring 43 points on 7-14 shooting from 3, adding 10 boards, and lit up the night with his charisma and brashness. His epic performance turned the series on its head—the Celtics never won again.
Asked by JJ what happened to get Curry going like that, Green replied, “I selfishly think it was in protection of me.” Green was referring to how both fans and the media would have reacted had the Warriors lost the series with him playing the worst hoops of his career.
Basketball is more than a game of ball screens and made shots. It’s a game of connections.
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