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DarioWatch: leadership and quick thinking amidst the chaos

During the Warriors’ Tuesday night loss to the Timberwolves, Dario Šarić and the bench mob showed up when it mattered most

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Dario Saric #20 of the Golden State Warriors dribbles the ball past the Wolves’ defense. The Warriors are wearing their black City Edition jerseys on their In-Season Tournament court.
Dario Saric #20 of the Golden State Warriors dribbles the ball during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the In-Season Tournament on November 14, 2023 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. 
Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

On Tuesday night, a scuffle between Jaden McDaniels and Klay Thompson less than a minute into the game escalated into a Hall-of-Fame NBA fight when Draymond Green put the Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert in a chokehold. Hands were thrown before a point had been scored — and with Klay and Draymond both getting ejected, things were looking messy for the Golden State Warriors.

You know that story, though, and this is a DarioWatch. Let’s talk about what the Homie got up to during and after the headlock heard ‘round the world.

Dario Šarić played for the Timberwolves for most of the 2018-19 season after being traded out of Philadelphia in the blockbuster Jimmy Butler trade. Although he started at the 4 for the majority of the season, Dario, probably feeling a bit spoiled by his franchise-saving reputation in Philly, struggled with confidence and floundered in situations he should have been used to.

According to Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Dario let his mood get in the way of his performance, and vice versa, for the entire season. The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski echoed this sentiment:

“His father was notoriously demanding while Šarić was coming up through the ranks in Croatia. And you can see it in Dario’s temperament,” Krawczynski said. “When he misses a few shots in a row, he can get really down on himself and it can affect his play in a negative way. He wants so badly to do well that when he is not playing up to his own high standards, you can see the tension in his face.”

Unsurprisingly, Dario was shopped by the Wolves ahead of the 2019 NBA Draft. He and the 11th pick (Cam Johnson) were sent to Phoenix in return for the 6th pick (Jarrett Culver).

“I’m not sad about this trade, I’m actually happy about it all and glad because I think I didn’t get a fair chance in Minnesota,” the Homie told Eurohoops after being traded to Phoenix.

Here’s a little piece of niche Warriors trivia for you: Dario was teammates with Andrew Wiggins during his time in Minnesota! Unsurprisingly, Dario and Wiggs are gelling a lot better in the Bay Area than they ever did in Minnesota, especially as Dario’s skillset was mis-utilized and Wiggs wasn’t feeling any love from the messy coaching drama that year.

All of this being said, it makes sense that in the midst of trying to break up the fight, Dario immediately went straight for Karl-Anthony Towns before following Andrew Wiggins across the court to settle things with Troy Brown Jr. and Jaden McDaniels. As a new rivalry rumbles in the West, Stepback ŠiŠi might have unfinished business in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes.

I don’t know what was in the air on Tuesday night, reader, but Dario took it upon himself to singlehandedly turn this game from an embarrassing loss to an impressive one. Along with the obvious victims being KAT and the Big Baguette, Šarić took his anger out on Naz Reid — 10 of the Homie’s 21 points were scored when Reid was on the floor. Four of those ten points were from free throws — in his 16 minutes on the floor, Reid fouled Dario twice. Arguably, Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch benched Reid for the entire fourth quarter simply because Dario just wouldn’t stop cooking him.

The Homie is known to go off against former teams. It’s the reason he cooked Oklahoma City last week and has taken out all of his pent-up rage on Philadelphia over and over throughout his career.

The Warriors face off against Oklahoma City again tonight, without Steph, who is still out with a knee injury and without Draymond, who is on the first of a five-game suspension, so expect yet another revenge game from Dario Šarić and the bench mob.

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