Melissa Rohlin: Steve Kerr on Green leading the league …

More on Kerr-Green Dynamic

And Kerr was almost as non-communicative at his post-game presser when asked why Green played so little in a game that competitive until midway through the fourth quarter. “It just wasn’t his night,” Kerr said tersely.
I’ve been in the Warriors’ locker room hundreds if not thousands of times, after horrible games and great games and middling games, and this was one of the more uncomfortable moods in there I’ve encountered. The main guess is that there are some edgy feelings between Draymond and Kerr, possibly tied to Draymond’s listless play throughout the game and Kerr’s reaction to it.
“It was just good communication between two teammates who are passionate and trying to figure something out together,” Kerr said after practice Saturday. “Kevin didn’t take anything personally, and I thought Draymond handled it really well. We had a good film session, a good meeting today where guys talked about different things. It’s all part of the process.”

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IT'S FEB. 27 in Oklahoma City, during halftime of a nationally televised game, and Green is losing his holy mind. Inside the visitors locker room, he's hollering "I am not a robot!" at Kerr. When Kerr tells him to sit down, Green screams, "Motherf---er, come sit me down!" When he goes after Kerr, his teammates, including Curry and Thompson, step in to stave off disaster. Minutes later, in her report following halftime, ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters will recite a portion of Green's explosion: "I am not a robot! I know I can play! You have me messed up right now! If you don't want me to shoot, I won't shoot the rest of the game!" "I'm standing outside the locker room with the Oklahoma City police, which are always stationed outside of every locker room," Salters will later recall. "They kind of moved me aside, and the officer just kind of stood by the door, with his hand on his weapon like he was trying to determine what he should do. It was clear that something bad was about to happen in this locker room. We've never heard anything like this before."
Publicly, the Warriors downplay the incident. At the next practice, Kerr says, "It's the NBA. Every team I've ever been on has had stuff like this. Every team. Championship teams or not, it happens. It's 15 alpha males in a room trying to compete, money on the line and prestige and trophies and competition. This is being so overblown." Privately, according to sources close to the team, Green's teammates respond by voting to fine him. (When asked a week later about the fine, a livid Green would insist, "I asked to be fined. You can report that!") Green also does not take kindly to the coverage of his outburst, which leads to the Warriors brokering a sit-down between him and Salters. Salters recalls telling him, "What kind of bothered me about it was hearing the pain that was in your voice -- you weren't just mad, you were in pain, emotional pain."
Storyline: Kerr-Green Dynamic
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Added Zach LaVine, who scored 21 of his 30 points in the fourth but also had a crucial turnover late: “We didn’t play hard enough until the fourth quarter.” Don’t blame Young. He played just 14 minutes, his second-fewest this season, in another clear sign that Donovan is trying to find the right mix for his new toys. “We’re just still trying to find our identity. Who are we going to be as a team? How we’re going to play? What we’re going to do?” Young said. “On the defensive side, I think we still have a lot of, ‘What are we doing out there?’ Or, ‘How are we supposed to do this?’ It’s a lot of thinking that’s still going on. And trying to process how we need to play and what lineups need to be out there and how these lineups all work together.”
Thanks to Carter’s 19 points and 12 rebounds, as well as a defense that looked like it had somewhere else to be all evening, the Bulls dropped to 3-8 since the roster facelift, losing 115-106. After the game, coach Billy Donovan wasn’t about to sugarcoat this one. “We are not in a position right now to be looking at anybody and thinking we’re better than anybody,’’ Donovan said. “It doesn’t make a difference who we line up against. It could be a college team or high school team. If we’re not going [to] really be desperate and have that sense of urgency, I think this idea of when we sit there and say, ‘Well this team’s record is this.’ ‘This is one of the worst teams.’ Well, where are we at?’’
“And I think there’s sometimes this perception of ‘Oh wow, this is a team that is vying for a championship.’ No! We’re not. We’ve got to build those habits and we have not built them on a consistent enough level. “I don’t look at it all as Minnesota’s record, Orlando’s record. We don’t have that luxury. Because you know what? Is Orlando saying the same thing about us? Is Minnesota saying the same thing about us?”
Storyline: Chicago Bulls Turmoil?
Head coach Billy Donovan was once again asked about struggling rookie Patrick Williams in the starting lineup and possible changes moving forward. While there are no plans to make a move, Donovan made it very clear he will always do what’s best for the team. “I wouldn’t say he’s untouchable,’’ Donovan said. “Patrick I don’t think is any different from any guy on this team. He would do whatever he could to help the group.’’
“My team in Orlando was very special to me,’’ Vucevic said. “I came there as a kid and I left nine years later, but what I’m most proud of is the last couple years because we went through a lot, went through a rebuild and then a rebuild kind [of] again, and then we finally made the playoffs two years in a row, and I was able to become a two-time All-Star. “Hopefully fans will always remember me as someone who played hard, competed and gave his best. Hopefully they’ll remember my legacy there as something good. . . . At least now I can talk about it without crying, which is not bad. It’s a step forward.’’
Noel signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Knicks. Noel thought he was worth more, but there were no bigger offers, and he eventually split with his agent, Rich Paul, in December. The former Kentucky product will be a free agent after this season and is having a strong audition. Knicks brass must decide this August whether to extend Robinson’s contract or let him become an unrestricted free agent in 2022. They can give themselves options by bringing back Noel, who is just 27 and a former lottery pick, on a multi-year deal.
Storyline: Mitchell Robinson Extension?
But Doncic saw it swish, his momentum taking him into the lane as the ball splashed through the net, giving the Dallas Mavericks a stunningly improbable 114-113 win Wednesday at FedExForum in Memphis. “I was really surprised when it went in,” said Doncic, who celebrated the winner he called “kind of lucky” by calmly walking to the baseline before raising his hands in triumph and being mobbed by his Mavericks teammates. “Those are the best feelings ever.”
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