If you’re the Golden State Warriors having won four championships in the last nine seasons, it’s fair to say rival teams don’t need any extra motivation in attempting to pull you back down to earth.
Yet that’s exactly what Draymond Green continues to provide, even for younger players with minimal playoff experience. The veteran forward’s outspoken personality, both on and off the floor, causes plenty of controversy and provides motivation for himself and opponents alike.
The outspoken nature of Draymond Green continues to paint a target on the back of the Golden State Warriors.
In a recent interview with Heir that went viral across social media on Tuesday, young Minnesota Timberwolves’ star Anthony Edwards spoke about his excitement at getting back to the playoffs, specifically labelling the Warriors as the team he wants to meet.
"“I want to play the Warriors. Wherever they at, I want to get to them”, Edwards said."
When asked by the reporter as to why he singled out Golden State, the 21-year-old had a very simple and unsurprising response –
"“I mean, because Draymond talks so much trash. That’s pretty much the only reason.”"
Green has created a plethora of individual rivalries with his antics over the years, yet has almost always been able to back it up by winning on the floor. His personality is a double-edged sword — adding fuel to Edwards and others isn’t ideal, but it’s ultimately what’s made Green the competitor and champion he is today after being a second-round pick in 2012.
Although the Green-Edwards rivalry may just be taking off, the 33-year-old’s beef with one of Edwards’ teammates has a far deeper history. Green and Rudy Gobert have battled for years as two of the premier defenders in the league, and there’s little doubt the four-time champions holds some resentment (and probably rightfully so) for the fact Gobert has three ‘Defensive Player of the Year’ titles to his one.
Gobert seemingly referred to Green’s punch on Jordan Poole in training camp, tweeting “insecurity is always loud” shortly after the incident. The four-time champion responded with the same words after Gobert struck his teammate, Kyle Anderson, during a timeout in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans on April 9.
The Warriors and Timberwolves have never faced each other in a playoff series throughout NBA history. Given the playoff aspirations of both teams, there’s a genuine chance Edwards get his wish in the drought being broken next season.