The Warriors have been showing such good chemistry in their 4-1 start that Draymond Green compared it to last year’s difficulty developing rapport.
“Last year, we had an awful team as far as chemistry goes, it was pathetic,” Green told reporters after Wednesday night’s 102-101 win over the Kings, won on Klay Thompson’s final-second shot. “But chemistry has been a strong suit here. That’s why Steph (Curry) has been here for 15 years, Klay has been here for 13. I’ve been here for 12 and Loon (Kevon Looney) has been here for nine because chemistry is a strong suit — and Andre Iguodala. The list goes on and on.”
Of course, Green was a key figure in the trouble last year, as he punched Jordan Poole during training camp practice coming off the prior year’s championship run.
The team’s front office traded Poole for Chris Paul this offseason, which is already paying dividends with Paul leading a strong bench unit that has given Golden State a lot of stability they lacked when Curry wasn’t on the floor. It has also given Curry a boost as he’s having one of the hottest starts of his career.
It was a bit ironic for Green to comment on last year’s chemistry as his punch of Poole was seen as a catalyst to their internal issues. But Green is candid when it comes to conveying the read of their room, and cited their first Western Conference playoff series loss under Kerr as the result.
“I don’t look at that as ‘Oh man, like, this is a team that struggled with our chemistry for years.’ It was a one-year thing,” Green said. “Stuff happens and it was an anomaly.”
Green said they are “right back where we need to be in that department,” and said there’s still room to grow this year. But wasn’t shy to say things weren’t good last year.
“It was hard to come to work, not fun,” Green said. “This year, you see the joy on guys’ faces when they come in the building. You got guys like staying over two or three hours after just sitting around and talking and getting here two or three hours early just to be here. You start to see that and you’re like ‘OK, this is a group that likes being together.’”
Thompson, who has been hesitant to discuss last season in any context, didn’t agree with Green.
“I think this year’s great chemistry-wise, and last year was good as well,” he said. “I think just every time you step into an NBA facility to go to work, feels great. So I don’t think too much about chemistry. I think winning solves all.”
Curry toed the line, acknowledging the noise around last year’s playoff flameout and difficulty in the locker room before pointing to offseason work that helped shape this season’s early returns.
“I understand the vibe of how last year went. I know you could waste a lot of breath talking about everything that happened last year,” Curry said. “But the way the season ended and what happened over the summer, I think that the time that we got to spend together as a group, two or three times we all got together were huge, so that you kind of get the elephants out of the room….
“I think it’s translated to some earlier success for sure, because even though we know we’re not playing perfect basketball, there’s nice cohesion and chemistry and trust amongst each other.”