Four-time Warriors champion forward Draymond Green had an extensive chat with team president Bob Myers during a plane ride from Oakland to Boston this past Tuesday, with the Warriors leading the Celtics 3-2 in the 2022 NBA Finals ahead of what turned out to be a close-out Game 6, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic.
“We talked about everything but basketball that everyone deals with,” Myers said. “I don’t pretend to understand what it’s like to be them (the players) because I’m not a celebrity, or famous or as wealthy as them… I just think we get so focused on Game 5, Game 6, I don’t think we talk enough about (life). Once this stuff is over, we’re gonna go back to our lives. Everybody’s got challenges, so I’m just talking about that stuff.”
“Those are things that bring you together for a lifetime,” Green said of their conversation and others like it. “We’ve seen several people win trophies together, and they hate each other. It’s those things that bring you together and connect you forever.”
Amick also discusses the late benching Green received in the fourth quarter in Game 4. Head coach Steve Kerr played center Kevon Looney in Green’s stead for much of the frame, a decision that ultimately helped the Warriors knot the series at 2-2 with a 107-97 Game 4 victory.
“You have to (get through moments like that),” Green said. “But like I said, ultimately in those moments, the most important thing is that you trust each other. I didn’t question (Kerr). I was upset, (because) as a competitor you want to be in the game.”
There’s more out of Golden State:
- Warriors center James Wiseman, the No. 2 pick out of Memphis in the 2020 draft, said recently that he expects there is a “90% chance” he will be able to suit up for the team’s Summer League games, per NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter video link). “I’ve been feeling great,” Wiseman said. “I’m running now, I’m doing a lot of up-and-down stuff… I’ll most likely play in Summer League.” The seven-footer’s rookie season was cut short due to a mensicus tear that also kept him out for all of 2021/22. In 39 healthy games during the ’20/21 season, Wiseman averaged 11.5 PPG and 5.8 RPG, though his inconsistent defensive play limited him to just 21.4 MPG.
- Warriors team president Bob Myers credits former Celtics team president Danny Ainge, now with the Jazz, for helping Myers land his current job, per Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com. Ainge was the architect behind much of the roster against which Golden State faced off in the Finals. “Without Danny, I wouldn’t be here,” said Myers. “He recommended that [Warriors owner Joe Lacob] meet with me… And Joe didn’t know me from anybody. And on Danny’s recommendation, he met with me. And then a few months later, Joe asked me if I wanted to work for the team. So I do owe that to Danny. Truly, without him I don’t get hired by the Warriors.”
- After a resurgent 53-29 regular season led to a charmed NBA Finals run and their first title since 2018, the Warriors actually have a chance to improve during the 2022/23 season, writes Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. Kawakami notes that talented recent lottery selections Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody did not play meaningful minutes in this year’s NBA Finals, but could be poised to contribute to the roster next year. Rookie wings Moody and Kuminga chipped in during Golden State’s playoff run, while second-year center Wiseman continues to work his way back from injury. Following a breakout regular season, 23-year-old shooting guard Jordan Poole saw more limited time during the playoffs, but still managed to be a solid contributor. Kawakami notes that Poole, too, could develop further next season.