The Golden State Warriors haven’t been able to find their footing this season. After winning the NBA Championship last year, they’ve jumped out to a 23-24 start this year, which places them in 10th place in the Western Conference standings.
As things stand, they’ve lost six of their last nine games and have a relatively difficult schedule coming up. Their next game, on January 25, is against the Memphis Grizzlies – a team who they’ve formed quite a rivalry with. However, according to Draymond Green, the game isn’t actually a rivalry, as the Grizzlies haven’t accomplished enough yet.
“There’s never any shortage of bulletin board material,” Green explained on his podcast, The Draymond Green Show. “Everybody’s trying to build it up to be some rivalry. I don’t think they’ve accomplished enough yet for us to consider the rivalry, but it’s always a great game, and it’s one of those games that, you’re gonna get up a little bit more than some other games. It’s not the cliche, ‘Oh, every game is the same.’ It’s not that. It’s a big game, it’s a fun game to play. We know they’re going to come and bring the best out of us, we’re going to bring the best out of them, and it should be the game well. Ultimately, I always feel like, I always say, ‘If we play a good game, they play a good game, we win the game. We play our best they play their best we win the game.’”
Golden State and Memphis have faced off against one another in the postseason for two straight years. Two years ago, the Grizzlies defeated the Warriors in the Play-In Tournament, ending their season. Last year, it was the Warriors who took down the Grizzlies in the second round of the playoffs.
Their rivalry has gotten so intense that the NBA granted them a Christmas Day game this season. In that contest, with Stephen Curry sidelined, the Warriors still managed to pull off a victory over Memphis.
Desmond Bane Discusses ‘End’ of Warriors Dynasty
As far as Memphis’ perspective, the Grizzlies have been equally as fired up about the rivalry. During an appearance on The Old Man & The Three podcast with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter, Grizzlies star Desmond Bane noted how Golden State’s dynasty is coming to an end.
“I mean, I think that obviously, Golden State gets, you know, all the credit for everything that they’ve accomplished, you know, up to this point,” Bane told Redick and Alter. “But, you know, I mean, I think that that’s a team that, that we look at, and, you know, feel like we can accomplish similar things. I mean, obviously, we haven’t won a championship, so we don’t know exactly what it takes to get there and, you know, win a championship. But, you know, I mean, we’re young, we’re up and coming, we got a core group of guys that love playing together and being together. You know, so I think that they’re kind of, you know, they’ve come out and said in the media, I’ve heard Kerr say it, you know, ‘this might be the end.’ Who knows what this team looks like in a couple of years? And, you know, we’re kind of on a different trajectory than that. So I think that that kind of plays into, you know, some of the rivalry there.”
Klay Thompson Mocks Grizzlies After NBA Finals
Green isn’t the only Warriors player to sound off on the rivalry, however. After winning the NBA Finals last season, Klay Thompson mocked Jaren Jackson Jr. for his comments.
“I can’t wait, there is this one player on the Grizzlies who tweeted ‘strength in numbers’ after they beat us in the regular season and it pissed me off so much,” Thompson said truthfully. “I can’t wait to retweet that thing. Frigging bum.”