Draymond Green has evolved 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 compelling 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 Green hopes ends after a second straight NBA championship.
Diary Entry No. 4: April 25, 2016. Draymond Green is in his trailer after a "Beats By Dre" commercial shoot at the 16th Street Train Station in Oakland, California. For now, he's cryptic: "All I can say is it's for 'Beats' and the Bay Area should look out for this. It will be very interesting. It's bringing something back out to the Bay that will get the Bay real live."
The Warriors have the day off, but news broke earlier in the day that Golden State superstar Stephen Curry will be out at least two weeks after suffering an MCL knee sprain. The Warriors own a 3-1 lead in their first-round series against the Houston Rockets with Game 5 on Wednesday, but the mission of repeating as NBA champions has become significantly more challenging.
"I actually found out the Steph news after I went to the practice facility to get a massage," Green says. "He was there for treatment time after my massage, and I said, 'What you got for me.' He said, 'Good news.' I'm like, 'Good news, huh?' He said, 'Real good news.' So I ask what is it. That's when he told me what it was. Great news. [Curry is expected to be available to play as early as the next series, if the Warriors advance.] Hopefully, he can return sooner rather than later. Until then, we have to hold the fort down.
"I was excited that it wasn't anything serious. Let's say if it all didn't go as planned in these playoffs and he didn't make it back during this run, it's not the end of the world. But to know that it's nothing serious -- he has no real structural damage -- that is a relief for sure."
Curry was overcome with emotion after the injury, crying in front of his teammates. Green admonished him: "Get out of here. Don't let them see you like this. Don't let them see you cry. We will hold you down. We got this. We will win this for you."
"What made me say what I said to him on the bench was that I could see the pain," Green says. "He wasn't crying because he was worried about his knee, he was crying out of frustration and not being able to be out there to help his brothers. Obviously, after leaving during the first half of Game 1, then in the first half of Game 4, you leave again? It was the pain of not being able to be out there with us. You see the pain. So I let him know that he's all right. You go do what you got to do. We will go take care of this business. When I said that to him, he didn't say a word. I told him to put the shirt over his face. He put the shirt over his head and took off walking.
"There was definitely a boost in sense of urgency after that. It gave me even more of a reason to go out there and give everything I've got. When we got that lead, you could tell there was a point to be proved. With them winning Game 3, [Houston] was feeling like, 'OK, we can make a series out of this.' And then being tied up going into the half, they were like, 'We're right here.' We felt that there was a point to be proved right now.
"I definitely know with [Curry's] recovery time frame people are counting us out. That's fine. I appreciate the motivation. We are a bigger basketball team than just Steph. Steph is a huge, huge part of everything we do. He is a huge part of the character of this team. He is a huge part of everything. But the thing we have always hung our hats on is our depth. One guy going down? Yes, he is the guy; but that means all of us have to pick it up.
"Our mentality going into Wednesday is simply to close this series out. Let's not let this series linger on. We know what the Rockets are capable of when you let them linger around. We need to take control of the game from the start and close this series out."