OAKLAND –- Draymond Green seated himself, cleared his throat and spent the better part of two minutes apologizing for his halftime outburst in the Warriors locker room Saturday at Oklahoma City.
“I made a mistake,” the All-Star power forward began his statement late Monday morning. “I admitted my mistakes to my teammates and my coaching staff. I apologized to my teammates, my coaching staff (and) this organization. That wasn’t the right way to handle what needed to be handled.”
Green reportedly was so agitated that he threatened not to play the second half of the game against the Thunder. The fourth-year Michigan State product allegedly got into a heated exchange with coach Steve Kerr.
What exactly triggered the discontent remains a matter of speculation, but Green’s part in the flare-up was acknowledged by players and coaches Saturday, in the wake of the Warriors’ 121-118 overtime victory over OKC.
“As a leader of this team, I can’t do that,” Green continued his statement. “Because it sets a bad precedent for how everything is run around here, how everything should be run, how everything has been ran and how everything will be ran going forward.
“It won’t happen again. It’s something where my emotions kind of got ahead of me and I let my emotions get the best of me.
“However, I will never quit on my teammates, as some have reported. I will never quit on my coaching staff. I will never quit on this organization.”
After a poor first half, during which Green had a couple uncharacteristically poor defensive sequences and also made a pair of turnovers – he was minus-11 at the half – he was plus-21 and far more effective the second half.
“I was pissed off,” he said. “And I felt like I owed it to my team to give everything that I had. I knew we needed a spark, mainly on the defensive end.”
As went Green, so, too, did Steph Curry and the Warriors. After trailing 57-46 at halftime, they outscored the Thunder 75-61 in the second.
“We didn’t compete in the first half, and we got after it in the second,” Kerr said. “In a strange way, that halftime stuff kind of motivated us.”
General manager Bob Myers, as well as Kerr and Green, expressed confidence that the incident would not threaten team chemistry. “The fabric of our team is, if not the best, one of the best in the NBA,” Myers told CSNBayArea.com. “The players are so connected. You don’t win games like that without having it. No matter how well Steph shoots, to stay connected through the last game of a six-game road trip, being down to a great team, says something.
“I’ll add this: When we evaluate and try to bring players here, the thing I’ll say is ‘Give me the player that cares too much, rather than not enough.’ And if anybody embodies caring too much, it’s Draymond.”
Kerr did not, however, downplay the heat Green generated within the locker room. Though Green is the team firebrand, this was of a higher level – but not enough to create a lingering issue.
“You guys all know how emotional he is,” the coach said. “It’s one of the things that makes him great, is his passion and his intensity.
“We’re doing OK,” Kerr added. “We won the championship last year. What’s our record now? 53-5? Everything’s OK. His emotion is good for us, and at times it bubbles over. But for anybody to say, ‘Oh, no, we should lookout. What’s coming next?’ Come on.”
Green concluded his statement by stressing his apologies and reaffirming his commitment to the Warriors.
“This organization has given me everything that I can ask for,” he said. “So I support and represent this organization to the best of my ability. That’s not who I am, that’s not who I’ve been, and that’s not who I will become.
“As a human being, I made a mistake. I apologized to my teammates, to everybody that I need to apologize to. I won’t happen again.”