OAKLAND – In the wake of the Warriors' 97-90 loss to Memphis on Tuesday night, Draymond Green sat before his locker room cubicle holding his phone and scrolling through text messages and his Twitter feed.
He didn't like much of what he saw.
Green was subjected to considerable backlash from the second-quarter play on which he made contact with Mike Conley while the Grizzlies guard – wearing a protective mask a week after undergoing facial surgery – was on the floor.
"He was laying on the floor with the ball in the air and I reached for the ball," Green said. "Obviously, it was near his face. I made a mistake and hit him in his face."
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Some observers apparently thought Green, in trying to tie up Conley, played a bit rough and, maybe, even dirty.
"There are a lot of people on my Twitter giving me hate and telling me don't come to Memphis and all kinds of stuff," Green said. "They can make it out to be that I tried to hit Conley in the face on purpose if they want to. It doesn't make me feel any different. I know I didn't hit him in the face on purpose. I would never do anything like that. So we move on from there."
Several Grizzlies players expressed their displeasure and, for a moment, emotions got heated.
The officiating crew reviewed the play for "potential hostile action" and did not assess a penalty.
"You see the replay . . . obviously if you want to be one of those keyboard warriors that just want to complain about something," Green said, "then you'll continue to say, 'Oh, you did that on purpose.' When you see the replay, you'll know."
Green said that he has a lot of respect for Conley, who, like Green, has overcome a great deal of skepticism to become one of the league's better players.
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"I would never try to intentionally hurt a guy, and I let him know that," Green said. "But just because a guy has a mask on his face doesn’t change the fact that you're going after the ball. I saw him trying to call for a timeout. I'm going to try to tie the ball up before the referee calls the timeout."
For the record, Conley made no judgment, saying he wasn't able to determine Green's intention and would "have to look at that."