For Draymond Green, the Warriors-Kings rivalry is ‘bigger than basketball’
Oct 13, 2023, 10:55 AM | Updated: 12:04 pm
(Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)
Draymond Green is often careful with his wording. The Golden State Warriors forward doesn’t publicly give respect to NBA opposition often, but the Sacramento Kings seemed to have left an impression after their seven-game postseason series.
In an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area, the four-time NBA champion was accepting of the term ‘rivalry’ regarding the Kings and Warriors for various reasons on and off the court. It starts with their geographical proximity.
“The reason I’m cool with that word being used is because there is a NorCal thing there,” Green said on the latest episode of ‘Dubs Talk’ with Zena Keita.
Sacramento and San Francisco being separated by an hour-long flight leaves plenty of middle ground between the teams where fans could gravitate in either direction, not to mention the organizational connections beyond the lines.
Green cited Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive, previously a minority owner in Golden State, and Kings’ head coach Mike Brown, who won three championships in The Bay, as added juice to the matchup.
“You start adding those things into it, and it becomes all the more special,” Green continued. “That’s actually a thing that’s just bigger than basketball.”
It doesn’t stop there.
These teams have shared Northern California for years, but those connections and a competitive, fiery seven-game first-round playoff series in 2023 were essential in building the ‘rivalry’ for Green. For him, it comes down to respecting their game.
“It’s a lot of teams that we’ve played over the course of this run that don’t gain no respect,” Green said. “But that team’s game I respect. They got a bunch of young, hungry guys led by De’Aaron Fox, who I think is a superstar, will be a superstar in this league, and they’re hungry and they’re going after it, and I respect that. I think I can look at them and I remember that part of the journey. The reality is, that’s the sweetest part of the journey when nobody thinks you can do it, when people act like they’re for you until it goes a little wrong and then they flip back. They’re, right now, in the sweetest part of the journey and I love and appreciate that.
For him to continue to relate to Sacramento’s “part of the journey,” Sacramento will need to build on last season’s success. It won’t be easy in an extremely competitive Pacific Division that features Green and the Warriors, the Phoenix Suns, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Los Angeles Lakers.
It just so happens that Sacramento’s first division matchup and home opener is against the team that sent them home in the first round. By the end of November, the Kings and Warriors will have played three of their four regular-season battles. For a rivalry to continue brewing, the Kings will need to continue to find success, but gaining respect is a step in the right direction.
For the first time since April 30th, basketball will be played at Golden 1 Center on Sunday evening when the Kings face their Northern California rival Golden State Warriors.
Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Warriors coverage, beginning at 5:00 PM PST on Game Night before a 6:30 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.
Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Preseason Schedule
- Sunday, October 15th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 6:30 PM PST
- Wednesday, October 18th – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
- Thursday, October 19th – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 7 PM PST
Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Regular Season Schedule
- Tuesday, October 24th – NBA regular season begins
- Wednesday, October 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz – 6 PM PST (Season Opener)
- Friday, October 27th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST (Home Opener)
- Sunday, October 29th – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 6 PM PST
- Wednesday, November 1st – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST