NBA Rundown Week 5: Warriors' Kevin Durant and Draymond Green at war; Jimmy Butler serves Sixers a win and more
The Golden State Warriors found themselves in a state of war. Jimmy Butler did Jimmy Butler things. Carmelo Anthony's stint in the NBA may be 'in the past like a ponytail'. Here are the bits and bobs from another week in the NBA.
For $100 now, you can get a pass for the Oracle Arena, which hosts reigning NBA champions Golden State Warriors. There's only one snag: the pass doesn't cover the price of a seat for Warriors matches. That will cost you extra!
But fret not, for that amount, if you get lucky, you might just walk into the drama between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green currently playing out in Oakland.
The trigger for the feud — that has led to the rest of the league gleefully wondering if the Warriors dynasty is unravelling — came during the Warriors clash against the LA Clippers. With both teams tied at 106 and just five seconds left on the clock, Green snatched a rebound out of Durant’s hands despite the latter furtively gesticulating to give him the ball. Green drove to the Clippers basket but could not even get a shot off, leading the game to go into overtime. While walking off the court, Durant confronted Green for not passing the ball to him, which led to the duo bickering.
Kevin Durant & Draymond Green get into a heated exchange after Draymond failed to get a shot off at the end of regulation during the Warriors loss to the Clippers. pic.twitter.com/uYROz4bld1
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 13, 2018
It has been reported that Green called Durant a b***h and asked him to leave the team when his the free agency option becomes available to him next season. This reportedly led the Warriors to give Green a one-game suspension. Since then on, things have escalated. Durant, of course, was repeatedly asked about his relationship with Green.
The first time he replied:
Kevin Durant is keeping the altercation with Draymond Green in-house. pic.twitter.com/wG7bRFbUKZ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 14, 2018
The second time, he said:
Kevin Durant hit with one Draymond relationship question postgame: “Don’t ask me about that again.” pic.twitter.com/OvukBOwvbI
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 16, 2018
The third time, he said:
By contrast, Green was much more composed, even joking that the suspension gave him some much-needed rest.
Draymond Green comments on his relationship with Kevin Durant.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) November 15, 2018
Meanwhile, the last befuddling words in the whole puzzling saga must go to Klay Thompson.
"This will be in the past like a ponytail."
— ESPN (@espn) November 14, 2018
The Butler did it. And how!
While one team in the West implodes, another team in the East is showing signs of gelling together just fine. There were a few concerns about how Jimmy Butler — known to rub teammates the wrong way — would gel with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons at Philadelphia 76ers. But on the basis of early signs, the team seems to be chugging along just fine.
In fact, on Sunday Butler rained on Kemba Walker’s thunder to lead the Sixers to a 122-119 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. Walker scored 60 points on the night, yet it was Butler who grabbed the spotlight, first blocking Walker’s attempt with the score tied at 119-119 with 15.7 seconds left in overtime. Then Butler scored from 27 feet out with three-tenths of a second remaining on the clock to secure victory.
The game-saving block and the game-winning triple!
— NBA (@NBA) November 18, 2018
Speaking of wild last-minute finishes, how dramatic was this cliff-hanger between LA Lakers and Atlanta Hawks:
This Lakers-Hawks finish was WILD. 👀 pic.twitter.com/kkpm3O63Yk
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) November 12, 2018
With the finish line of the game approaching, LeBron James missed two free throws which could have helped the Lakers take the lead or level the scores. Thankfully, with Chandler doing his defensive bit, James was able to score a put-back dunk to give his side the lead. And then, Chandler stepped up again, this time at the other end of the court, with a block for the ages.
Taking a stand
NBA stars and teams have never shied away from taking a stand on contentious issues. Last year, everyone from LeBron to the Warriors took on US President Donald Trump. And now, teams like Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks took the court earlier last week with the word ‘Enough’ written on the front in response to the mass shooting at a bar in California’s Thousand Oaks, which led to 12 people losing their lives. The names of the 12 victims were also written on the back of the T-shirts. Gun control has been a thorny issue in USA.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 12, 2018
Melo’s out of Houston
Meanwhile, it seems as if the Houston Rockets and Carmelo Anthony are finally ending their association after just 10 games! While at the moment there’s no clarity over where Melo is headed, at least on the international scene, he’s found takers, with the Puerto Rican national team reportedly keen on wanting him to play for them.
But it is increasingly appearing that as far as the NBA is concerned, Melo is — to quote Klay Thompson — is in “the past like a ponytail”.
The Golden State Warriors imploding, thrilling last-ditch finishes and Carmelo Anthony's exit from the Rockets. What sort of a week has it been, you ask? Allow Kawhi Leonard to tell you.
Curry, a key figure in the Warriors championship-winning seasons in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, said his scoring record was the result of a collective effort.
The ceremony for the Class of 2020 will take place on 15 May at Mohegan Sun Arena in Montville, Connecticut. The ceremony was postponed last year due to the pandemic.
The Lakers entered the game missing their two best players, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but they overcame that with energetic play, strong perimeter shooting and a lockdown defence.