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During Game 2 of the Warriors' opening round series against the Pelicans, Draymond Green barked back at Steve Kerr after being taken out of the game in the first quarter.
In many instances, this would be construed a sign of dysfunction, but that's not the case here.
Green and Kerr built a relationship during training camp that paved the way for these types of exchanges.
"He got after me all through training camp," Green explained during his weekly radio segment on KNBR 680-AM Tuesday night. "I felt like I was getting picked in ... He was on my case from Day 1...
"I think that helped us a lot. Especially starting off, where I felt like I was getting picked on. As I figured him out, we just continued to get closer and closer, and I kind of understood what he wanted and what type of person that he was."
When David Lee strained his hamstring in the Warriors' preseason finale on Oct. 24, it thrust Green into the starting lineup.
Soon enough, Kerr was referring to Draymond as the Warriors' "heartbeat."
In early April, after hearing the audio of Kerr's response to Doc Rivers' "jab" at Golden State's decision to rest Green against the Clippers, Draymond said, "I love Coach Kerr's response. That's my coach. Coach Kerr's a goon. The way he responded to that. I hadn't heard it. That was incredible."
Green credits Kerr's fiery attitude for bringing out the best in him, comparing the bond to the one he built with Tom Izzo at Michigan State.
Game 2 against New Orleans wasn't the first time Kerr and Green had a heated exchange. In fact, it was a moment during a home game earlier in the season that Green credits as a turning point in the relationship.
"He said something to me on the court, and I started yelling back," Green said. "I'm like, 'Whoa.' He said something else, and I caught myself the first time, and I start yelling back again. So now I walk to the bench and I'm like, 'My bad.' And he's like, 'No, I love that fire.' And then I started to notice he would do stuff to get me amped up. I'm like, 'OK, kind of treading down that Tom Izzo road again.'"
From the moment Kerr accepted the job to become the Warriors' head coach, he stressed the importance of building relationships with every player on the roster.
The Warriors are four wins away from being NBA champions, and they may not be in this position if Kerr hadn't "picked on" Green.
"We just continued to grow from there," Draymond explained. "I didn't know much about him as a person and he didn't know much about me. But we kind of figured each other out real quick and it's been great."
The Associated Press contributed to this story