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June 9, 2022

Draymond Green

Golden State Warriors

Practice Day

Q. I know the defense has been a big issue for you in the series. I looked at some of your good offensive games in years past, some of the stats. It seems like in past years this Warriors offense has hummed very well when you've been more aggressive, specifically going to the basket and posting up. Knowing that's not the biggest issue, defensively it's been a big issue, but do you think that's something you can improve? Is that something you need to improve with this kind of roster?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I think I can. I will. I have to be more aggressive on both sides of the ball, not just defense or offense.

I think the game ties together, all goes hand-in-hand. When you're flowing on one side, can you flow on the other.

We are a much better team when I'm aggressive offensively, so I have to be that for this team. I've always prided myself on giving the team what it needs in order to win.

I think this team will need more of that for us to win, so I have to be better on that side, for sure.

Q. People like us will use the term 'lightning rod' for you. In terms of the spotlights, the cameras, even the controversies, somehow finding you. Lightning rods actually have a purpose. They keep that kind of stuff, the bad stuff, from hitting other people. Is there an intent to you taking on that role in that it frees teammates to do what they do, or is it simply your world?

DRAYMOND GREEN: That's who I am, you know. I'm always going to do whatever I can for my teammates. I think that's just my MO, that's who I've always been. In saying that, that doesn't excuse my play, how poorly I played last night.

Yeah, I mean, I'll continue to be that guy, no matter what. I try not to get caught up in all the stuff that happens around me or that, for that matter. But, yeah, I've always been that guy. That won't change now.

Q. Seemed like last night Jayson and Jaylen got free on a few pin-down actions. Do you think that's something that can be fixed with communication? What was the issue last night?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I think it's fixed with aggressiveness and force. When you allow guys to just run freely, get to the spot that they want, they're damn good players, especially offensive players. So when you just allow guys to run freely and get to the spot that they want to get to, then it's tough to guard.

Regardless of where they are on the floor, if you just let them get to the spot they're going... I think it's all a part of the same issue. We didn't approach the game with the right force that we needed to, and that starts with me.

I think if I increase my force, we increase our force, it can take all those things away.

Q. I know you addressed this on your podcast last night, your wife posted something on Instagram. You say you want to shut out all the noise, but can you do that when it's affecting your family? How do you do that if it's bothering your family?

DRAYMOND GREEN: Yeah, I can still do that. Obviously it can affect them, and I understand that. For me going on the court, those people chanting that out on the floor, quite frankly, my family aren't out there with me either, so at the end of the day it's me and my teammates out there on the court versus their guys. That's just what it has to be, channel and focus all my energy there.

I mean, I didn't really give much to the crowd anyway, which I kind of think was a little bit more of an issue than if I did.

So, like I said, it's just about me finding that balance and, just like I said on my podcast, being Draymond Green. I know how to be him better than anyone else. I know how to be him better than anyone else can be him. So I just got to be myself.

Q. Over the last 24 hours you've seen a lot on talk radio, TV, as well as experts, whether they're former players, commentators and more, talking about you. I want to take a different approach here. I think a lot of times old hats talk about what you young people should do. I know for me, the '90s, Charles Barkley, Charles Oakley, Anthony Mason were guys that I respect. I see flashes of that in you. Who are the guys in the '90s that you respected now, that you still respect now?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I definitely respect those guys you just named. Dennis Rodman, I had a ton of respect for his game, how he approached things, the force that he always brought to the game no matter what. A guy who most people would say was a little off his rocker. Didn't affect him one bit. If you said Dennis Rodman was off his rocker, he would go further off the rocker.

I respect guys like that.

I think the thing you have to remember is I was born in '90. As much as I had the opportunity to watch those guys, I was six when the Bulls won the championship in '96. I was eight when they won their last championship.

A lot of that is going back and, like, just watching it. With the true understanding of what's going on. I watched it when I was six. I watched it when I was eight. I absolutely loved it and enjoyed it. But I didn't understand the game within the game when I was six.

A lot of my knowledge of those guys and appreciation comes from going back and watching that stuff, see how guys operated and how they played. I have appreciation.

But I also have an appreciation for guys that still play like the '90s and early 2000s, Ben Wallace, who was an extreme enforcer. Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, guys who were really about all of that.

Where they had more of that spirit, they kind of came up through that era. I watched a lot of those guys. More so than it just being like these guys from the '90s that's just so deep. Man, if it's anywhere between the '90s, I was zero to nine.

My recollection of those guys just isn't as strong as it is the Ben Wallaces and the Artests and Stephen Jacksons, guys who I really watched and understood when I was kind of in a space or at a point in my life that I understood the game, thoroughly understood the game of basketball. Like I said, the games that's going on within the game.

Q. What stands out about the way the Celtics are guarding Steph and you guys in general in the halfcourt? Steph is hitting shots, but it seems like they've forced him to hit hard shots from deep.

DRAYMOND GREEN: They're a great defensive team. We knew that coming in. They pride themselves on that end. That's what changed their season this season. I think they started 11-and-something I saw. What changed their season is their defensive presence.

They're going to make things tough. That's why they're in the NBA Finals. That's why we're in the NBA Finals. They're a very physical team. They have a lot of size, a lot of bulk. They try to muddy the game up. I think it's important that we continue to move the ball, move bodies, not just standing still where they can just muck the game up, use their hands and chuck guys.

If you're moving, ball movement, guys are moving without the ball, then it's a lot tougher to grab and chuck and hold and all of those things. You don't allow them to play so much to their strengths as we did last night.

Q. Noticing the bigs playing a little low on Steph and he’s shooting from deep.

DRAYMOND GREEN: Yeah, I think their bigs are. When you're guarding Steph Curry, you have to kind of pick your poison. They're picking the drop, which is great. I think there are some things we can do to capitalize on that. I think, you know, there are times where you've seen in this series where we have.

We just got to continue to do that more consistently. I think if we bring the force on the defensive end, then it allows you to see more of that.

Like I said before, the game all ties together, and we have to tie it together, and it starts with me.

Q. You guys have been playing seven deep. Do you feel like depth, getting more guys in, leaning into what got you through the season, might be a solution? Do you feel like it's on you, Steph, Klay, to basically get it done?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I mean, it's on us for sure. Those two guys did their part last night. I didn't do mine. It's always going to be on us regardless of how deep we go into the bench.

In saying that, that has been -- always who we have been. We've always relied on our depth. I think there's a fine balance that you have to find there as a coaching staff. You don't want to go too deep into the bench, then you're messing up guys' rhythm that are playing the big minutes. At times you do want to go deeper into the bench. That's always the game that coaches are playing, trying to figure out.

At times you get it right. At times you get it wrong. But ultimately we trust our coaching staff and know they get it right way more times than they get it wrong. We're going to trust in what they decide. If they decide to go deeper into the bench, it's great. We have guys on the bench that are more than capable of coming in any game and contributing.

If they don't, that's on us to work our minutes, whatever those minutes are, whether it's 35 minutes, whether it's 42 minutes. We got to work our minutes.

Do I think the depth can help us? Yes, because I just believe in our guys that we have, that can come off our bench and provide. If Coach Kerr decided to go deeper into the bench, it will help because I have faith in those guys that he’d be going to. If he doesn't go deep into the bench, then it's on us, the guys who are playing the majority of those minutes that other guys would be getting, to make sure we're bringing that force for 48 minutes regardless of what the situation is or what may happen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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