clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

For as long as possible, the Warriors keep their drama under wraps

Like all teams, adversity strikes the Warriors. But it’s so often well-hidden, at least for a while.

Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

It’s not a large visiting locker room at Staples Center.

It is, however, a large contingency that tends to follow the Golden State Warriors everywhere their dynastic feet take them. A contingency that waits, seemingly with equal spoonfuls of restraint and restlessness, for the next bout of brilliance, or the next display of dominance. The Warriors are a quotable team, a memorable team, and the media that etches the team’s portrait waits with bated breath and sharpened pencil.

Over a span of four years, the Warriors’ profile has featured three titles, two MVPs, and one record-setting season, all within the confines of an assured and optimistic frame. The depiction rarely features turmoil.

Which made the tumult of the team’s visit to Los Angeles jarring. And yet for those eagerly waiting with sketchbook in hand to caricature the team, there was no fracas to detail.

It’s been more than a week since the incident between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, yet it doesn’t feel as though the dust has settled. But a large part of that is due to just how much is kept under wraps with this perpetually newsworthy team.

When the loss to the Los Angeles Clippers was officially in the books, the Warriors argued fervently while I wandered my way to the visiting locker room. In those initial moments following a game, the door to the locker room acts as a semipermeable gate - those on the inside can exit, but those on the outside cannot enter.

As I stood among the hoard of eager reporters waiting for the exit to morph into an entrance, Durant left, in a hurried huff, yielding to no one. In retrospect, this should have been a warning sign, but Durant had been expelled from the game following a highly questionable sixth foul, and it was fair to assume he was merely hot, and trying to avoid a useless fine when pressed on the issue.

When the doors finally swung open, and those of us clutching our phones for work purposes funneled in like sand through an hourglass, the loss-filled locker room registered its typical lukewarm temperament.

Ron Adams stood in the doorway, smirking as reporters jostled for position, eating with chopsticks. DeMarcus Cousins looked the postgame fare over two or three times, deciphering which foods were worth eating. Andre Iguodala emerged from the showers, towel wrapped round his waist, and surveyed the scene, looking for a way through the quilt of unsuspecting reporters, who had their backs turned to him.

Iguodala found no open path, so, saving pleasantries for another day, grabbed someone’s shoulders, and screamed something inaudible at the top of his lungs. While the masses collectively jumped, Iguodala waltzed through the now open path, giggling like a pleased child.

Green sat in front of his locker, a little quiet, but talking with teammates and laughing as he dressed. Contemplative, but seemingly little else.

To both the untrained and the trained eye, all was well, a discouraging addition to the ‘L’ column notwithstanding.

When the next morning rolled through, the tweets from NBA insiders shocked me as much as they shocked you. Sure, there were frustrations aired on the sideline, and yes, the team lost in less-than-stellar fashion, and okay, Durant did hightail out of there, but an altercation? Of that magnitude?

Who knew?

It was remarkable, in hindsight, how well the team kept the situation under wraps, at least initially. When Steve Kerr gathered before the fishbowl of media members, not a single mouth opened to ask about the spat between Green and Durant; as far as any of us knew, it was a total non-story.

The pressing issues that Kerr, and the rest of the team faced, revolved around the lack of timeout, the lack of execution, the lack of defense, the lack of Steph Curry. There weren’t other stories.

Until there were.

Of course, this happens with some regularity, albeit at a less drastic level. What is known, what is seen, and what transpires all exist on different planes. Few people on the outside have as much access inside as Marcus Thompson II, who asserted this much following the organizational adventure:

What is true goes largely unknown, and what is known goes largely untold.

And while the foundation of the team flirts with malleability as turmoil takes its toll, the walls stand strong, not letting the weakness show. They’re a well-oiled machine, on the court, in the locker room, and when opening their doors to the media.

It’s a sight to see. Or perhaps more fittingly, a sight to not see.