The world rivalry gets thrown around a lot in the NBA these days, but Draymond Green only uses it for very specific teams in the league.
Some would say that Golden State and Memphis have a rivalry, but Green doesn’t think so.
One team he does believe the Warriors have something with though is the Kings.
“The reason I’m cool with that word being used is because there is a NorCal thing there,” Green said on Dubs Talk. “The Bay and Sacramento being so close, so different yet so similar. You have areas along the way that could kind of pick the Bay and could kind of pick Sacramento, where their [fandom] would go.
“So taking all of those things into account, then you add in [Kings owner] Vivek [Ranadivé], who was a minority owner here before he outright bought the Kings. [Kings coach] Mike [Brown]. Mike B has won championships with us. You start adding those things to it and it becomes all the more special. So that one I would not say what I would say about most people when they say ‘rivals.’ That’s actually a thing that’s bigger than basketball.”
The Warriors may have created an incredible dynasty, but a lot of hard work and plenty of losses and struggles went into making that.
Draymond explains that he sees how the Kings are grinding, and that it reminds him of where he has come from in his 11 years with the Warriors.
“Now you start talking about the basketball side of it and that team gained my respect,” Green said. “There’s a lot of teams we’ve played over the course of this run, and they ain’t gained any respect. But that team gained my respect. They got a bunch of young, hungry guys led by De’Aaron Fox, who will be a superstar in this league. They’re hungry and they’re going after it, and I respect that.
“I can look at them and I remember that part of the journey. The reality is: that’s the sweetest part of the journey, when nobody thinks you can do it. They’re right now in the sweetest part of the journey. And I love and appreciate that. Playing against those guys and going to a seven-game series, all of these playoff series you either lose and it’s ‘aw I respect those guys’ or ‘I don’t really respect them at all.’ And they gained my respect.”
It’s nice that Draymond respects the Kings, but it’s hard to know if that respect would be reciprocated.
Green stomped on Domantas Sabonis’ chest in their second matchup during the playoffs, was ejected and missed Game Three for the flagrant act.
The Kings players probably haven’t forgotten about that one.
This season, the Dubs are looking build upon their dynasty this season after recruiting the point god himself Chris Paul to the team.
The franchise have also brought back 2022 championship player Gary Payton II, along with a host of other veterans like Rudy Gay and Cory Joseph.