Why Kerr Defends Defending Draymond Late on the Bench in Finals Game 4 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
The NBA Finals weren’t exactly a walk in the park for Draymond Green†
He struggled at times throughout the series and got some pretty impassioned comments from Boston Celtics fans.
Late in the fourth quarter of Game 4, warriors coach Steve Kerr pulled a struggling Green out of the game, a controversial move that Draymond wasn’t too keen on but eventually understood. After Golden State won its fourth championship in eight seasons and celebrated with a parade down Market Street in San Francisco, Kerr entered Andre Iguodala and co-host Evan Turner on the “Point Forward Podcast‘, where he defended the move.
“I’ve been here eight years now, so I know all these guys so well,” Kerr said. “I didn’t think much about it when I took out Draymond in Game 4 because that unit wasn’t doing well, so I was really looking for a shift. And I thought I’d just take him out for a minute or two and get him then back.
“When you find a group in the NBA that works, you stick with it and it doesn’t matter who’s on the floor. You don’t have to worry about hurting someone’s feelings or anything like that. So when that group started to play well I wasn’t paying attention to the bench but Andre you were there and I’ve heard you talk to Draymond there ever since and I’m sure he stayed ready Sure enough when the run ended and we went back to him , he was great and made huge moves on the trajectory and it all worked out.”
When Green and the Warriors first appeared before the rowdy Boston crowd for Game 3 at TD Garden, Celtics fans were rained NSFW chants focused on Draymond, who, according to Kerr, crossed a line, particularly with the presence of children.
“I thought they crossed the line,” Kerr added. “I’m all for booing guys, cheering for your own team. The right cheer—if you want to go down that path—is ‘so-and-so shit, so-and-so shit.’ …when they said ‘F you Draymond’, 20,000 people, I also thought of Draymond’s child.
“Like DJ, five years old, sweet boy, like the nicest boy… this sweet and innocent little man and he has to sit there and watch his father get scolded by 20,000 drunken fans. People don’t think of it in those terms like “You look from the outside. I think it scares Draymond a little, because that’s pretty extreme.”
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It certainly wasn’t an easy run for Draymond, but in the end, a ring comes back on one of his fingers and that’s all that matters.
The rivalry will almost certainly continue when the Warriors return to Boston sometime in the 2022-23 season.