Draymond Green has voiced his admiration for Stephen Adams after the duo clashed on a number of occasions during the Western Conference Finals.
While the Golden State Warriors eventually won the seven-match series 4-3, Green’s altercations with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Adams caught plenty of attention.
Green took down Adams in Game 7 decider, while earlier in the series he clocked Adams in the groin twice, for which he was fined $25,000 but escaped suspension.
Speaking to Warriors Plus Minus, Green revealed he sought out to praise his rival after the final match of the series.
“I was looking for him, and he happened to be looking for me at the same time,” he said. “But, you know, like I said, I told him ‘I love what you do on the floor.’
“Regardless of if you have instances or run-ins or whatever, at the end of the day, isn’t that how the game is supposed to be played? You’re supposed to battle. And I think so many times nowadays that’s looked upon as a negative. But I respect a guy who battles.
“He’s been that way since he came into the league. He’s battled since the time that I’ve faced him. It’s incredible.
“I respect a guy like that, because there are times that you’re scrutinized, there are times where other teams hate you, players on the other teams hate you. And everybody can’t deal with that, everybody not liking you.
“But to stay true to that no matter what and battle for your team, I respect guys like that. And I wanted to make sure he knew that.”
The Warriors were 3-1 down at one point in their clash with the Thunder, but they launched a remarkable comeback and went on to win the series 4-3 to set up a rematch with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.