After failing to win their third consecutive NBA championship, the Golden State Warriors took another huge blow in the summer of 2019 when they lost one of their best players, Kevin Durant, in free agency. Things just got worse in the season when some of the Warriors’ core players went down with injuries one after another. Despite all their suffering and disappointments, one man continues to shine and shows his fighting spirit almost every single game: All-Star power forward Draymond Green.
In an interview with Nick Friedell of ESPN, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr offered some praise for Green. While most people expected the Warriors to use this season to allow superstars like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to rest, Green continues to play like they are competing for the NBA title. Kerr called Green as the “lone survivor” in Golden State.
“Draymond’s the one guy who hasn’t been able to kind of decompress after the five-year run,” Kerr said. “Everybody else — Shaun [Livingston] retired, Andre [Iguodala] hasn’t played — they would all tell you the same thing: That five-year run is just exhausting. And so literally everybody else is getting to recharge their batteries, one way or the other, but here’s Draymond. I call him the lone survivor.”
No matter who they play against, and who’s available on their roster, Green has been making the same mental preparations and playing with the same intensity every game. However, with the talent they have, Green is well aware that the Warriors currently don’t have what it takes to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy this season, and they may even have a hard time earning a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference.
Though the Warriors are most likely headed into the lottery this season, Kerr said that Green isn’t having a hard time handling the unfamiliar situation that they are facing right now.
“I think he’s handling it just fine,” Kerr said. “He’s a realist like I am. Nobody is preordained to get to play in the Finals every year. It just doesn’t work that way.”
Things may not currently be going the Warriors’ way, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that their dynasty is officially over. When Curry and Thompson become 100 percent healthy and regain their All-Star forms, the Warriors would definitely come back stronger and seriously aim for the NBA championship next season.
Aside from having some of their core players back, the Warriors could also make roster upgrades by using D’Angelo Russell and their own 2020 first-round pick as trade chips to engage in a potential blockbuster deal next summer.