You guys aren’t going to believe this, but Draymond Green and LeBron James didn’t totally finish cracking jokes about one another before the end of the Golden State Warriors’ 2017 NBA championship parade.
The two All-Stars sniped at one another on Thursday, with Green showing up to the parade wearing a T-shirt poking fun at the Cavs, James responding with a Michael Scott goof on Instagram and Green replying in kind with a hairline joke. Top-shelf stuff!
Draymond kept the jokes going when he hopped up on stage at the Warriors’ championship rally, taking James to task for claiming that he’d never played on a “super-team” like the 2017 Warriors. (Though, for the record, Kevin Durant has said he doesn’t consider the newly minted champs a super-team, either.) Green elaborated on his on-stage comments during a post-parade chat with Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports:
As Green would later share as he walked toward the buses that would take the Warriors back to their nearby practice facility, he was stunned to hear James say that he had never taken the “super team” route. His Miami Heat team that won two championships was the product of James and Chris Bosh joining forces with Dwyane Wade in 2010, and these Cavs came together in similar fashion when James returned in 2014 to the team that already had All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and was joined by All-Star forward Kevin Love six weeks later via trade.
“LeBron said he’d never been on a super team,” Green, still wearing his sunglasses as he stopped every few feet to take pictures with fans, explained to USA TODAY Sports. “As KD said before, (James) showed everyone it was possible to do that. And so, it wasn’t that (what James said) didn’t sit well with me. It didn’t bother me, but let’s just be clear. It was very surprising, because like I said, he was the one who opened the door for that. So let’s just be clear about it.”
James, too, decided he had more to say on the topic, and shared his thoughts on the mic during a new episode of the “Road Trippin'” podcast with Cavs teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye. From ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
Aside from wearing a T-shirt mocking the Cavs’ early exit from the Finals and making fun of James’ new haircut that makes the 32-year-old look bald, Green also declared, “You started the superteam, bro!” while quoting James’ statement that he never played on a superteam.
“No,” James said when Green’s superteam comments came up in the episode released Friday. “No. I mean in 2003, the Lakers combined Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Shaq and Kobe. And in ’96, when Jordan was retired, the Rockets joined Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler all on the same team.
“But I don’t look at it as … I definitely didn’t start the superteam, if that’s what he’s trying to say. But I just feel like that it’s great that on the day you’re celebrating your championship, my likeness and my name is in your head. I love that.”
“My likeness?” Watch out, Draymond: if you can’t prove you had the express written consent of the National Basketball Association to reproduce that mental image in your brainscape, you might be subject to legal action!
The conversation went on, with Frye, Jefferson and James discussing the good-natured back-and-forth and how tickled they were that Draymond took time out of his busy celebrating schedule to think about the Cavs:
“The other guy is such a great guy, and it’s like gentleman banter back and forth,” Frye said, purposely not calling Green by name.
“Oh, yeah,” James replied. “For sure.”
“It’s like, this is the greatest day you could have arguably in your life and you’re talking to us,” Frye later said. “That’s cool, though.”
“Absolutely,” James concurred. “Absolutely.”
LeBron is right that he didn’t invent the super-team concept. Draymond is right that LeBron’s claims that he hasn’t been a part of a super-team is, on its face, absurd. Those things are secondary now to the larger question of just how much good-natured banter we’re going to see between these two ostensible business associates — they recently appeared together in “The Shop,” a half-hour-long video produced by Uninterrupted, the multimedia platform for athletes James co-founded in 2015, and Uninterrupted distributes Green’s “Dray Day” podcast — in the weeks and months ahead. Because as much as James insists he’s happy to be occupying rent-free space in Green’s head, it sure seems like LeBron’s having a hard time forgetting about Dray, too.
“It’s all in good fun,” Green told USA TODAY’s Amick. “At the end of the day, it was a great series. We were able to prevail. They won last year. Just for him to have that response shows his character, to obviously not be down by the fact (that they lost). Light jokes. I think that was pretty cool.”
All we ask, as we prepare for a long NBA-free summer, is that the light jokes about who’s in whose head continue apace. Social-media roasting’s more fun than endless arguments over what does and does not constitute a super-team, after all.
More NBA coverage:
– – – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Mayweather-McGregor deals crushing blow to HBO, De La Hoya
• LeBron fires back after Warriors star’s troll attempt
• On Durant, Westbrook and nurturing a killer instinct
• E. coli traces found in water provided to US Open fans