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. 5: April 27, 2016
After Houston Rockets veteran guard Jason Terry guaranteed a win after Game 4, quoted in The Houston Chronicle boasting, "It's going to be a nice flight home once we get this win (Wednesday). I'm guaranteeing it." He even went so far to promise a Rockets trophy tattoo if they somehow advanced to an unlikely championship. Instead, the Warriors hammered the Rockets in a 114-81 victory in Game 5 to clinch the first round series 4-1. Green nearly had a triple-double with 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in 31 minutes. Warriors guard Stephen Curry missed his third game of the series with a sprained left MCL.
"I definitely heard about [Jason Terry's] comments, but I got mad respect for Jet. He's a guy that's done it in the league for a long time. He was a big part of the championship team that beat LeBron and the Heat the year after 'The Decision.' If a dog don't wag his own tail, who is going to wag it? I'm not sure about coming out here guaranteeing a win, but he has to do something to get his guys going. I respect that. Jet is one of the vets in the league and one of the guys I watched growing up. I got mad respect for him. But the big homey can't come out here and put out an 0-for-7 donut if he's going to guarantee a win.
"My teammates and I laughed about it. I actually screenshot Jet's guarantee quote and put it in the group chat. I said, 'You see this mess?' It wasn't like we needed the bulletin board material. We were coming out here to close it out, anyway. Everybody was like, 'Really? All right. Let's get it. Let's go.' It was exciting, but the way we really closed this series out says a lot about this team."
The Warriors will play the winner of the Portland Trail Blazers-Los Angeles Clippers series beginning as early as Sunday in Oakland. The Clippers are without All-Star Chris Paul (broken hand) indefinitely and Blake Griffin (quadriceps) for the rest of the playoffs. The Blazers have a 3-2 series lead and can advance with a win over the visiting Clippers on Friday.
"I am a basketball fan. I'm always trying to watch playoff games. Obviously, with this Clippers-Blazers game possibly being an elimination game, deciding which team we'll play in the next round, I am definitely going to be locked in. I will be watching to prepare for Portland, if they're able to close out. If they are not able to close out on Friday, I will keep watching until we know who'll be our second round opponent.
"I really think it sucks with what happened to the Clippers, though. You never want to see guys go down with injury. I'm sure they felt very confident about what they had going. They played really well heading into the playoffs, so it's really unfortunate to see the injuries to Chris and Blake. It really sucks to see that happen. It just shows you that you can't take anything for granted. It shows all of us that.
"For Steph to go down with one ankle injury and then the next time he plays he goes down with an injured knee, it really shows you have to take advantage of team health when you got it. I have hope that he can come back before two weeks, but it is not something you should rush. That is a ligament in your knee. When he is able to get out there, I know he will get out there. Until then, we got to hold it down. He has gotten better each and every day when he's walking around. That is always a good sign. I'm sure he'll continue to improve. He's been living in the training room. That's great. And our confidence level is still high without Steph. We are a very confident team. We know what we're capable of. Obviously, it's different with Steph out there. We're not going to be more confident as a team without Steph, but we are still a very, very confident team.
"Game 5 was a complete team effort. Everybody that came into the game stepped up: from Brandon Rush [15 points in 18 minutes off the bench] to Anderson Varejao [who played a spell of the game after not getting off the bench the previous three games]. Big [Andrew] Bogut played well and dominated the entire series. Shaun [Livingston] stepped up huge with Steph out. He's been critical for us. The way everyone stepped up was key tonight. I take more pride in that effort than in the actual win itself.
"These days off are good for us. It allows a guy like Shaun, who has played more minutes than he normally plays, to rest. It allows our MVP [Curry] to rest up a little bit more. Hopefully, we can get him a little closer to coming back without him having to miss games."
Meanwhile, the rapper Drake -- who's been doing his super-fan thing during the Toronto-Indiana series, taunting Pacers guard Rodney Stuckey after a turnover, and trolling Paul George on Instagram after a loss -- will drop his long-awaited album "VIEWS" on Friday. In one of the songs, "Summer Sixteen," Drake refers to Green saying, "You know Chubbs like Draymond. You better off not saying nothing." It's an ode to Draymond's role as the Warriors' enforcer.
"That was cool for me. I said, 'Mama, I made it.' Drake is talking about me in the song. It was incredible. I think the album is going to be amazing, so I am looking forward to it. I haven't heard it. For those that want to know what the lyrics mean they can go to rapgenius.com and figure it out. It will tell you everything."