Draymond Green has grown into one of the most interesting personalities in the NBA, and perhaps all of sports -- the vocal leader and emotional engine for one of the most popular NBA teams in recent memory.
Green has agreed to give Marc J. Spears of ESPN's The Undefeated an exclusive look into his life on and off the court via a playoff diary that he hopes ends after a second straight NBA championship.
Diary Entry No. 3: April 20, 2016. Houston Rockets defeat the Stephen Curry-less Golden State Warriors 97-96 in Game 3 off a buzzer-beater by James Harden that the NBA now says shouldn't have counted. Warriors own a 2-1 series lead.
Green had 9 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 turnovers, including a critical turnover on the Warriors' final offensive play, in 37 minutes.
It was tough walking into the locker room knowing that I cost us this game. It isn't every night that I cost us the game. But I cost us the game. Knowing Steph is out, I got to step up and be better. I'm kind of pissed off. It happened. I will bounce back fast.
I've always been comfortable pointing the finger at myself. To be a great leader, you got to take blame on yourself sometimes. I know I was awful. It's easy to point fingers at others. That's what makes the difference in this team. We don't do that. I'm not going to go to the media and say, 'Such and such did this.' I did. I know I did awful to cost us this game.
I've never been afraid to say it's my fault. It is. If you aren't man enough to admit that, then it usually goes wrong on your team. We aren't going to have those problems, because we aren't going to point the finger at each other. Sometimes you got to look in the mirror and know it's you.
I hate losing. I hate when it happens. You got to make sure one loss doesn't turn into two. We have to go back to the drawing board, get back to doing things we weren't doing so well and get them back next game. It's definitely amazing that this is only the 10th loss of the entire season. But this is the one that counts. This is the one that matters.
I was going to let the [the Warriors' last offensive] play develop for half a second or so. We only had 2.7 seconds. I had to catch it and do whatever I was supposed to do. I was about to drive the ball. I just took off a little sooner than I should have, and I wasn't able to grasp hold of the ball.
It's a tough challenge guarding James Harden. He had missed the prior two jump shots in one situation, and I said, "Yeah, I'm living with that," after he hit the next one and ran down the court smiling. It's just friendly competition going back and forth. But he hit the game-winner. That's why he's the player he is.
That's the first time someone made a game-winning shot on us. I didn't realize that. A tough one. We'll bounce back on Sunday.