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What did Draymond Green have to say about the ‘rivalry’ with the Memphis Grizzlies

After the Grizzlies’ Ja Morant got the ball rolling with a subtle jab at the Warriors, we knew we were in for a Christmas Day treat. Following the Warriors win, Draymond Green has kept the ball rolling.

What did Draymond Green have to say about the ‘rivalry’ with the Memphis Grizzlies
Darren YamashitaUSA TODAY Sports

Though you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise, given the direct and indirect jabs that both camps have taken at each other in the last year, a certain Warriors player doesn’t believe there’s anything to the hype surrounding a possible rivalry with the Grizzlies. Could it be, that it’s just another subtle slap in the face of Memphis’ team?

Draymond Green downplays talk of Grizzlies rivalry

When they met in the Western Conference semifinals last year, it was clear that there was no love lost between the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies. The proverbial rising stars vs the veteran champions has never had a better metaphor, but perhaps that’s just the way we saw it. According to Warriors star and longtime servant Draymond Green, however, Ja Morant and Co. aren’t rivals at all. Of course, Green’s words come conveniently after a highly anticipated Christmas Day clash that ended in an explosive 123-109 win for Golden State.

“I think the word rivalry is thrown around too loosely these days,” Green said post game. “A rivalry is Lakers-Celtics. A rivalry is us and the Cavs through those 2015, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18, ‘19 years. Those are rivalries. [The Grizzlies are] a great, young team that has a very promising future, but they haven’t won enough yet to say it’s a rivalry. That’s no shot at them, it’s just - in order to be a rivalry, you’ve got to start hanging banners.” Now, while it’s clear that the Warriors definitely know about banner hanging, after all they did go on to win their fourth NBA title in eight seasons, after that victory over the Grizzlies, but Green has got to know that despite his disclaimer, it won’t be interpreted in any other way than a shot - albeit a subtle one.

So, it’s a heated non-rivalry?

Of course, Green’s comments are no different to Morant’s who essentially said the same over the last few months. On the other hand, when the Grizzlies star recently chose a different tune by not naming the Warriors among potential threats in the Western Conference, lines were drawn. Was Green doing the same? Who can say, but when all is said and done, his team did make Morant eat his words. Ultimately, Green did disclose that he does enjoy the intense nature of the games against the Grizzlies.

“I just think the term [rivalry] is thrown around too loosely,” Green said. “Now, is this a game we get up for? Absolutely. Is this a team we’re always looking forward to facing? Absolutely. Does this game bring out every emotion possible in them and us? Absolutely. But I still think that term is thrown around too loosely.” Whether tongue in cheek or not, Green raises a valid point when comparing to the great NBA rivalries of the past, but there are two things that are also clear: The Grizzlies are definitely a team to watch in the future and Draymond Green knows it.


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