After spending the past eight-plus months climbing to the top of NBA mountain, the Warriors got their chance to bask in the sun at the top on Monday.
They reveled in their fourth championship in eight years all weekend, but Monday’s parade in San Francisco gave them the opportunity to do it on purpose.
Greene had been waiting for this moment, four years after the Warriors last staged a parade like this.
“I told you all, ‘Don’t let us win the (expletive) championship, and obviously no one could stop that. I warned you all,” he said at an event before the parade, which was broadcast on NBC television. “So I’m just going to keep destroying people on Twitter like I used to.”
The telecast failed to catch any of Greene’s curses in time to keep them out of the air. There were many of them throughout the televised parade, which drew over 800,000 people.
At the dress up event, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry followed Green and Andrew Wiggins onto the stage.
“A real grown-up, Draymond,” Thompson said as he landed a nonchalant punch on his foul-mouthed teammate. “This guy has the maturity level of a third grader.”
This taunt caused a roar of laughter from the Warriors players, Green almost fell from his seat. Thompson then turned on Curry, getting him in trouble for the tears he shed at the end of Thursday night’s decisive victory in Boston.
“Who’s crying on the basketball court?” he asked Curry, who replied, “You don’t cry in basketball.”
However, that was not all.
Green took the moment to genuinely reflect, saying that so much “needs to be agreed upon” for this particular Warriors team to win the title. And surprisingly, he said that the part of winning the title that he enjoys the most is not being able to say nasty things.
“Since I won my first championship, my biggest joy is seeing guys win it for the first time,” said Green. “On your journey. You always want that feeling to come back. The first time you do it, you want it to feel bad. And the reality is that you will never get it again.
“And the only way to really understand it is to feel it through Andrew Wiggins, through Jordan Poole, through Otto Porter and Belli. [Nemanja Bjelica] and Moses [Moody] and J.K. [Jonathan Kuminga] and general practitioner [Gary Payton II] and length [Damion Lee] … that’s how you get that feeling again.”
However, after sincerity, there were more chances to speak out. Green concluded his impromptu speech by saying, “I just want to say thank you to all of you and, as always, [expletive] other.”
Leave it to Steve Kerr, a five-time champion as a player and now in his fourth managerial title, to answer the bigger questions.
In an interview from the stage, Kerr shed light on assistant coach Kenny Atkinson’s decision to stay with Golden State next season. Atkinson was almost signed to head Michael Jordan’s job as Charlotte Hornets head coach when he pulled off a stunning turnaround on Saturday.
Kerr pointed to Atkinson’s two children, as well as the opportunity to live in Northern California and work for the winning organization.
“I think it’s very difficult to try to get a job in the middle of a Finals without being able to relax,” Kerr said. “And I think as the final went on, he just felt it. He felt that now is not the best time for me and my family to leave.”
Who wants to abandon these Warriors when they look so much fun? Poole kicked off his party by blasting the crowd with a squirt gun as soon as he got on stage.
But Curry had another team in mind: Team USA. Olympic gold is the only important item missing from his resume now that he has secured his first Finals MVP trophy.
“I’m not very good yet because I have to play for Coach Kerr in 2024 in Paris,” Curry said, before clarifying that it’s a non-binding statement to play in the next Summer Olympics.
Owner Joe Lacob spoke as if he expected his team to be defending the trio by then.
“We are ready to come back next year and do it again,” he told the crowd.