Draymond Green scolds rookie Dennis Smith Jr. for trying to dunk on him
NBA.com staff reports
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green earned his Kia Defensive Player of the Year honor last season both for his defensive stats and his take-on-all-comers attitude to defense. That remains as true as ever for Green, and it is something Dallas Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr. learned about last night as well.
* Recap: Warriors 133, Mavericks 103
With the Mavericks down 11 and 1:31 remaining in the third quarter, Smith Jr. drove baseline and tried to dunk on Green. But Green rose up before Smith could get to the rim and fouled him — and then delivered some choice words to the rookie (both in that moment and after the game).
Green was called for the foul, but he made sure to give Smith an earful.
He clarified after the game what he was saying.
“Yeah, that (stuff) ain’t happening,” Green told reporters afterward. “This ain’t summer league, bro. Not just gonna dunk on nobody. Better luck next time.”
Green said he doesn’t think Smith will ever dunk on him.
“Never, that ain’t happening,” he said. “Come on, dude.”
Green said he was familiar with Smith coming into the game, but said the social-media moments aren’t happening against him.
So word got to Smith about this and the rookie handled the situation well. After all, he did win that battle because Green was forced to foul to stop the dunk.
“I don’t know what he was talking about,” Smith said. “He can’t say anything after he fouled me. I really don’t care.”
Coach Rick Carlisle and everybody in the organization knew there would be difficult times for Smith in his rookie year. That’s becoming clear.
“”There’s a lot of learning that’s going to happen in a very short period of time,” Carlisle said. “This is as challenging a situation as a rookie point guard is going to be put into, two games into his career.
“He did a lot of good things. The stats aren’t great, but he created a lot of problems at key points when we were in the game. We’re going to keep supporting him. He’s a smart kid and a leader. He wanted to play on Friday night (when he sat out with the knee problem). I’m proud as hell of him. We just got to keep going with him.”
* * *