Draymond Green tried to play matchmaker with LeBron and Steph

Closed mouths don’t get fed, and Draymond Green took that philosophy to heart. This time around, Green took it upon himself to take the type of clumsy desperation heave he usually takes in games and wedges between the rim and backboard.

Why LeBron on the Warriors is a bad idea

Why LeBron on the Warriors is a bad idea

Green peeped how chummy LeBron James and Steph Curry were at the conclusion of their tough overtime loss to the Lakers last Saturday, caught wind of James’ pre-trade deadline frustrations and turned into the NBA version of that friend who attempts to play Cupid with two star-crossed competitors who have been playing footsie for years, but too scared to make the first move.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, Green initiated the 11th-hour arrangement on Wednesday before the trade deadline by forwarding a message to Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul seeking his help in pushing James towards Golden State.

Green even encouraged Warriors owner Joe Lacob to inquire with the Lakers’ Jeannie Buss on James’ availability. Lacob and general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. had to entertain it because when Draymond Jamal Green comes to you with a request, it’s best to just nod and play along for the sake of keeping the peace. But just to cover her bases, Buss relayed the message to Paul for entirely different reasons. James holds all the cards on a short-term deal and the front office treats him like a de facto player-GM. Green thought he was cookin’ up Golden State’s Quincy McCall and Monica Wright.

There would be hurdles that would need to be cleared, such as how the Warriors would match James’ $47.6 million salary. It never got that far, though, as James respectfully told his reps “I’m good” and returned to his hollow life as a married father of three playing in the same city as his son, and as the face of the NBA’s marquee franchise. Presumably, either Chris Paul or Klay Thompson would have been sent out the door.

Curry and James are the most influential players of this era and the generation before it, but are still torching much fresher legs. More importantly, they have been doing the will-they, won’t-they dance for years.

Two years ago, James was asked which current NBA player he’d be eager to team up with during an episode of The Shop, and without hesitation he showered Steph with more effusive praise than the wife of his three kids ever could.

“In today’s game, sh—t, there’s some m——-f——— in today’s game, but Steph Curry,” James said. “Steph Curry’s the one that I wanna play with for sure, in today’s game. … I love everything about that guy. Lethal. When he get out his car, you better guard him right from the moment he pulls up to the arena. … You might wanna guard him when he get out of the bed. Swear to god. He’s serious.”

James also pulled up to Curry’s non-conference games back when he was a sophomore at Davidson in 2008. The timing has just never been right until now. They’re currently both captains of the most ballyhooed .500 clubs this side of the Kobe-Nash-Dwight Lakers. Meanwhile, Green and James are in league together off the court as partners in James’ tequila brand, Lobos, and Chris Paul is the only Banana Boat crew member James has never suited up with, so you don’t have to worry about chemistry concerns.

Curry has been faithful to the Warriors for the duration of his pro career, whereas James has taken career wanderlust to a new level, therefore it makes sense that James is the one who’d migrate to the Bay Area.

As foes, they engaged in several of the most intense battles in recent Finals history. As teammates, they could have one last hurrah. James has been building bridges his entire career. But it turns out that even he has limits. Opposites attract, but outside influences would never let those crazy kids flourish.

James ending his career as an interloping rental on his fiercest rival would have had a deleterious effect on his legacy. He would essentially be abdicating his throne to Curry under these circumstances. James bent the knee to Dwyane Wade in Miami over a decade ago, but that was a different time and a different relationship. As a resident of Chase Center, James would have been a subject of Curry in his kingdom. Given how intensely they’ve battled for dominion of the league throughout their primes, there’s no practical world in which James could have shrunk his ego to that degree.

Kevin Durant learned this the hard way when he was winning titles in Golden State while taking a beating in the public sphere for jumping from Oklahoma City. Of course, this isn’t the 72-win Warriors. These Warriors are barely lifting off after being parked on the runway for much of the season. While James would have been a main character in the final chapter of Golden State’s revitalization, the Lakers just won the inaugural In-Season Tournament. Leaving them when they’re locked in on avenging their Conference Finals sweep at the hand of Denver to go link up with the team they beat in the Divisional Round would have been a melodrama he doesn’t need at this stage of his career. If Golden State really wants James, they can help their odds by drafting his son, but at this point, they want James more than he needs them and that’s not a great foundation for any relationship

Find DJ Dunson on X…or don’t: @cerebralsportex

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