Jackson has not been reluctant to share his opinion on this matter in the past: in August of 2018 he said:
“If you want to discount KD’s rings, then you open up another stupid line of logic: Now we’re adding a degree of difficulty rating to the already idiotic “count the ringzzzz” argument? Is Dirk Nowitzki‘s one ring worth three Magic Johnson rings because Magic played on a STACKED Lakers team? Bill Russell has 11 but his teams were by far the most talented for much of their ’60s run, so does that only really count for six or so? This is all just foolish. KD’s a champion, he went to play where he wanted to and he went to win. He earned the right to do it, he made his choice (and ratings are up before you tell me it’s killing the sport). I just don’t get the whole debate.” –Stephen Jackson
“They’re Brady and Gronk,” Andre Iguodala said of Curry and Green after the game. “The black version.”
Both Green and Curry laughed when hearing Iguodala’s comparison. Curry had a question.
“Wait,” he asked. “Who’s who?”
Good question, Steph.
Curry and Draymond have won three championships together and are hoping to capture a fourth NBA title next month.
Brady and Gronkowski won three Super Bowl titles as teammates, and can’t win any additional Lombardi trophies as a duo unless Gronk unretires.
As for the Warriors’ incredible pair: “Our skill sets complement each other well and we use each other,” Draymond said. “We have a chemistry amongst us that’s unlike many we’ve seen, ever in history. We don’t come from similar backgrounds. We’re different in many ways.
“Where we are the same, though, is we both want to win, we both do whatever to win, we’re both extremely competitive and we’re unselfish. When you add all those things together, those are ingredients for success.”
UPDATE: Warriors’ Andre Iguodala questionable for Game 4 after ‘clean’ MRI
Josh Schrock | NBC SPORTS
The Warriors might be rolling over the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals, but they are quickly becoming the walking wounded.
Already down Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors announced Saturday following their Game 3 win at Moda Center than Andre Iguodala would need an MRI on Sunday for soreness in his Achilles area.
Luckily for the Warriors, it appears Iguodala’s ailment isn’t that serious. The team announced Sunday that his MRI came back “clean” and he is questionable for Monday night’s Game 4 in Portland.
With the Dubs holding a three-games-to-zero series lead over the Blazers, it seems unlikely that Iguodala will suit up Monday.
The Warriors are staring a fifth consecutive NBA Finals berth in the face, and they’ll need to be as healthy as possible to take down either the Milwaukee Bucks or the Toronto Raptors.
Iguodala’s health will be paramount in a matchup with either Kawhi Leonard or Giannis Antetokounmpo, so we wouldn’t expect to see Iguodala again in this series unless absolutely necessary.
On May 20, 1994, Scottie Pippen throws down a vicious slam over Patrick Ewing in the Chicago Bulls’ victory against the New York Knicks, Pippen then gives him a little shove and tries to step over him before exchanging trash talk with Spike Lee. Years later on The Jump, Pippen remembers the play as his most disrespectful dunk and shares a funny story about future interactions with Ewing.
Johnson joined ESPN’s “First Take” on Monday, answering a series of pointed questions from Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim Rose with the candor we have come to expect from the Lakers legend. Unfortunately, that candor also took a torch once again to the franchise that supposedly holds his loyalty.
While suggesting the Lakers would be “right back in the hunt” if they continued to follow the plan he laid out for them — chasing Anthony Davis in a trade, signing another top-tier free agent this summer and adding a shooter with the midlevel exception — Johnson outlined several reasons why the team is in utter disarray.
Johnson repeatedly accused Lakers GM Rob Pelinka of stabbing him in the back.
“I wasn’t having fun coming to work anymore, especially when I’ve got to work beside you, knowing that you want my position,” he said of his former employee.
“You know how many agents called me and said watch out for him?” he added.
And then the kicker: “If you’re going to talk betrayal, it’s only with Rob.”
You know what Johnson could have done if Pelinka was the biggest obstacle between him and professional happiness? Fire him. Instead, Johnson threw Pelinka under the bus on national television, letting the NBA world, including the team’s many free-agent targets, know that there is serious dysfunction within the Lakers.
Let’s check in with short-lived Laker and former Pelinka client Channing Frye:
While continuing to describe Lakers owner Jeanie Buss as his “sister,” Johnson also described her as “emotional” and informed us that he would like to buy the team from her, if Kobe Bryant and LeBron James don’t beat him to the punch.
Johnson continued to undermine Buss by confirming every anonymously sourced news item about the team’s missteps this season. She had previously derided “fake news” reports that the Lakers shopped Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball for superstar Anthony Davis prior to the trade deadline, but Johnson confirmed them to be true, before confirming that the young players did not handle it well.
“I told them not to take it personally,” Johnson explained to the panel in a truly surreal interview. “What happened was, that first week, they did take it personal.”
He then dumped on former New Orleans Pelicans GM Dell Demps for leaking the news in the first place. Few escaped Johnson’s criticism through cackling laughter.
It was an equally disastrous look for both Johnson and the Lakers, but it made for compelling television for the rest of us. He chastised the organization for including ex-Lakers coaches and Buss confidantes Phil Jackson and Kurt Rambis in the decision-making process, suggesting “there are too many voices,” while at the same time lending his own voice to the process in the most public way possible.
Moments after blasting Pelinka, Johnson guaranteed a Lakers title for LeBron, so long as their free-agency pitches come only from “Jeanie, LeBron, Rob and probably [new coach] Frank [Vogel].” Magic then outlined who planned to pursue in free agency: Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving. This was under his presumption that true top target Kevin Durant will either stay in Golden State or leave for New York.
Just as astonishing was Johnson’s characterization of his own mistakes as team president. He owned his failure to re-sign Brook Lopez, who is now an invaluable member of Milwaukee’s pursuit of a championship. Johnson excused his failing of Julius Randle, suggesting there was no way for them to make it work, because a) “He wanted to years, we offered one,” and b) “We needed some spacing.” His solution for that spacing, of course, was to a) sign a series of non-shooters and b) to trade promising young center Ivica Zubac for Mike Muscala’s expiring contract.
Questioned on “First Take” about the decision to deal Zubac for Muscala when the Lakers were already headed for the lottery, Johnson proceeded to trash Zubac.
“Did he even play in the Golden State series?” Magic said of the 22-year-old. (For the record, Zubac did, starting three games in his first-ever playoff series.)
About the only person Magic did not trash was LeBron. He said of reports that some inside the Lakers organization have considered trading their superstar, “That’s not gonna happen,” while again confirming, “I’ve heard some people say that.”
If Magic’s goal is, as he once said, to do what’s best for the Lakers, I’m not sure appearing on “First Take” accomplished that goal. If it was to do what’s best for him, I’m not so sure he did that, either. Although, he sure seems to think he did:
All smiles as the Lakers continue to burn around him. It’s a good thing he conducted this interview on Monday morning, just before Pelinka is supposed to introduce Vogel as the team’s new coach at a press conference. I can’t imagine what kind of questions they might face from the assembled media masses in L.A.
For the third straight game the Trail Blazers led at the half. They stretched the lead to 17 points in the third quarter, but the Warriors went on a 12-0 run to close within 95-90 early in the final period.
Green’s long baseline jumper gave the Warriors a 108-106 lead with 3:30 left.
Lillard’s 3-pointer put the Blazers back ahead and Leonard’s dunk extended it to 111-108 with just under 2 minutes to go.
After Thompson’s 3-pointer tied it up again both Curry and Lillard missed 3s. Curry made a 3 from the corner with 10.7 seconds left but he was called for traveling first and it didn’t count.
Lillard’s layup bounced around the rim and out and the game went to overtime.
The Warriors were up 114-113 in the extra period after Green missed the first of a pair of free throws. CJ McCollum‘s jumper from out front briefly gave Portland the lead but Alfonzo McKinnie‘s basket put Golden State back ahead and Green made a 3-pointer to push it to 199-115 with 39 seconds left.
Lillard made a layup and Curry missed a jumper to give Portland back the ball. Facing stifling defense from both Green and Klay Thompson, Lillard couldn’t get off a shot but the ball went out of bounds in the scramble. The Blazers got it back with 3.3 seconds left but Lillard’s final shot didn’t fall.
Damian Lillard, playing with separated ribs, had 28 points and 12 assists for Portland. He missed a 3-point attempt as time ran out in the extra period. Meyers Leonard added a career-high 30 points along with 12 rebounds.
Iguodala was out because of a sore left calf. The veteran swingman, who is averaging 10.1 points in the playoffs, was hurt in the second half of Saturday’s Game 3 victory.
It was not known how long he’d be out, but the Warriors said an MRI Sunday was clear.
Golden State was already missing Durant because of a sore right calf. It’s unknown when the two-time NBA Finals MVP will return.
FIVE AIN’T EASY
The Warriors are just the sixth professional team from North America to go to five straight championships, along with the Montreal Canadiens (NHL), Boston Celtics (NBA), Cleveland Browns (NFL), New York Yankees (MLB) and New York Islanders (NHL).
A little less than 12 hours later, in a Portland hotel ballroom, Green revealed his verbal onslaughts on the refs were having an impact on his son, Draymond Jr.
“I realized how impressionable the kids are at the ages they’re at,” Green said Sunday afternoon. “I just really want to be a good example to them and show them the right things.”
Green, who finished with an NBA-leading 16 technical fouls this season, said he’d come home and see his 2-year-old son mimicking a flopping move on his toy court, much to the forward’s chagrin.
“My son was shooting and flopping,” Green said. “I said, ‘You gotta stop watching the NBA.’
“He would play on his little hoop and then stomp around the house,” Green continued. “Like, I like the intensity, but slow down, little fella.”
At points this season, Green — who consistently ranks among the league leaders in technical fouls — said he’d see himself arguing with officials during film sessions and be disappointed in himself. In one instance, he recalled an interaction with official Zach Zarba in which he called “embarrassing.”
“There were just times where I’ve looked back at the game and I would see my body language and pouting to a referee … It was disgusting to me,” Green said. “It was something that I wanted to be mindful of, and especially coming into these playoffs.”
Green knows how his interactions with referees can affect a series. Nearly three years ago, he was suspended for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals after he received his seventh technical of the postseason for hitting then-Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James in the groin at the end of Game 4.
While Green has a playoff-leading four technicals this year, he hasn’t been called for one in the Western Conference finals. With seven technicals garnering an automatic suspension during the postseason, Green’s current mindset toward the officials will be vital.