The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers are in a war of words over a seemingly small postgame dust-up.
After the Warriors beat the Clippers 106-98 last Sunday, Warriors forward Draymond Green was giving a postgame interview when Clippers forward Dahntay Jones bumped into him, seemingly on purpose.
After the bump, Green stopped speaking for a moment and stared down Jones.
After the game, Green ripped into Jones, saying:
“I think he wanted a reaction from me, but he don’t play. So, me getting suspended and him getting suspended, it’s different. When you don’t play, that’s probably his role on that team. So, I’ve had that role once before in my career — a couple years ago. But I can’t afford to, you know, feed into that, where I get into it with him after the game, and, you know, get fined, get suspended, and hurt my team when, you know, if he gets suspended, they may not even notice.”
Green added, “He got some camera time, which he needed because there wasn’t much celebration from their bench today, so you didn’t see him much.”
Jones defended himself in an interview with the LA Times, saying the bump wasn’t intentional.
“That’s not how you bump somebody if you purposely want to bump them,” he told the LA Times.
He went on:
“Some people like to draw attention to themselves and make themselves bigger than what it is… We never got into it, we never exchanged any words. We never exchanged any glances. We never ran into each other. I don’t even know him as an individual, so there’s no bad blood. Somebody had a good game and wanted a little bit more attention.”
Nonetheless, the NBA fined Jones $US10,000 for the bump. It doesn’t help, as Green noted after the game, that it was a nationally televised game.
When asked about it, Clippers coach Doc Rivers also mocked Green, saying:
“Honestly, I just saw it an hour and a half ago, and, wow, that was such a violent bump, I’m telling you! It’s amazing. I told Dahntay, ‘You gotta be careful, that was too hard.’ I guess that tough guy in Golden State, I think the bump was too hard for him, clearly, the way he reacted. My goodness. I thought that guy was tough.”
Green went on KNBR and was shown Rivers’ reaction. Green responded by repeatedly referring to Rivers as “Glenn,” Doc’s real first name. He said, “Cool story, bro. Cool story, Glenn. Very cool story, Glenn… I’m done with that situation, man… I don’t have no reason to worry about what Glenn has to say.”
This is part of a budding rivalry between the two teams. On Christmas in 2013, the two teams nearly fought at the end of the game. They played each other in the first round of the NBA playoffs in 2014 and went seven games before the Clippers knocked off the Warriors.
Earlier this season, Draymond Green taunted Griffin all the way up the floor after a basket:
There are plenty of other instances of the two teams going back and forth. Before last Sunday’s game, Andrew Bogut flat-out said, “We don’t like each other.”
The NBA would rather avoid any physicality between the teams — hence the fine on Jones — but this rivalry is great for the league. Both teams are loaded with stars, could contend for the Western Conference, and their games have become must-watch TV.
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