Draymond Green in Game 2 vs the Pelicans reminded everyone why they love and/or hate him so much.
His fans will point out how he flirted with another triple-double (20 points, 12 assists and 9 rebounds) and is averaging 13.3 points, 11.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists in the playoffs. They will also point out the energy he brought to the game and how it pumps up his teammates and gets under the skin of opponents.
His critics will point out his trash-talking, stare-downs and ability to get into situations that had Charles Barkley saying, “I just want somebody to punch him in the face” during halftime of the game. One of those situations was a modern day NBA “altercation” with him and Rajon Rondo yapping in each other’s faces. The other was him and Anthony Davis recreating Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone’s wrestling incident from Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals.
After the win, Green was asked (of course he was) about Barkley’s comments.
“A lot of guys talk on TV,” Green said. “Stand behind the microphone on the TV screen. Fact of the matter is, if you feel that strongly about something, he’s even seen me a million times, then punch me in my face when you see me. If you’re not going to punch me in my face when you see me, then shut up. It’s no different than somebody sitting behind a computer screen, tweeting, ‘I’ll knock you out,’ and you never see him in life.
“He’s seen me a bunch of times. Punch me in the face when you see me, or if not, no one cares what you would have done. You’re old and it is what it is. You ain’t going to punch me when you see me, then stop talking about it, period.”
He continued to talk about Barkley with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.
“I think it’s pretty sad,” Green said. “It’s probably something that needs to … when you look at the president of TNT, David Levy, which I know well, it’s kind of embarrassing on their behalf … I’m an employee of the NBA, he’s an employee of TNT. And you have your biggest sponsor, one of the faces of that company, saying that on national television. That’s embarrassing for them. So that’s something — a problem that they have.”
Green’s Mom even took to twitter to throw in her two cents.
Charles Barkley, I wish you would…you think Shaq had you RUNNING! #MANGONE
I’m sure we will be getting a response from Charles Barkley during the next TNT game and wouldn’t be surprised to hear a few words from Kevin Durant, who isn’t a big fan of Barkley’s criticism of current players.
“This is a fraternity, man. We’re brothers. We’re in a minority of the world as far as NBA players. We’re supposed to take care of each other. You can’t throw your brothers under the bus on TV like that. Your generation is the reason why we picked up a basketball.
“I understand the criticism, but at the same time, you got to know what we’re going through and how that makes us feel because everyone’s doing that. And to hear it from an ex player, and then like Barkley, he’s not just a player. He’s elite. He’s the top of the top. For him to say that, that’s a big deal.”
UPDATE: As expected, Barkley was asked about the comments made by Draymond and his Mom. Not expected, Barkley apologized.
Via USA Today
“I’m going to apologize to Draymond tonight,” said Barkley, who made the comments during the halftime show of Game 2 between the Warriors and New Orleans in the Western Conference semifinals. “You know listen, I like Draymond. I like Draymond a lot, actually, but I shouldn’t have said that. He’s annoying, but I shouldn’t have said that. So I’m going to apologize to Draymond tonight.
“I’m going to apologize to Draymond and his Mom, because his Mom (Mary Babers-Green) said some stuff on Twitter today I heard about,” Barkley said. “She said, ‘Oh Barkley, I dare you…’
“Listen, I don’t get offended by anything. My job is not to become part of the story, and I did, and I was wrong for that.”