Green typically thrives off the doubts and the banter. He made himself into an All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year after being drafted in the second round, and his trash talk is as notorious as any other individual in the NBA.
The Warriors star relished the opportunity to go at Big Perk after Team USA won the gold.
Kendrick Perkins took a subtle shot at Team USA earlier in the tournament
Team USA might have ended the tournament atop the Olympic podium, but things looked shaky initially.
Gregg Popovich’s team lost a pair of exhibition contests. Those losses might not have loomed as large had Team USA not also dropped its tournament opener against France. Perhaps a little bit of temerity was setting in.
Perkins had no problem taking a subliminal shot. He tweeted, “INTERNATIONAL Players are taking over the game of basketball” after the Americans lost to the French and Luka Doncic led Slovenia to an opening win in historic fashion.
However, Team USA would rebound and silence the doubters. The Americans did not lose a game for the remainder of the tournament, getting revenge on France in the gold medal game. It marked the fourth consecutive Olympics in which Team USA men’s basketball won gold.
Green was quick to harken back to Perkins’ past assertions in the immediate aftermath of the victory.
Draymond Green blasted Perkins for his subtle slights
After the final buzzer sounded, multiple players on Team USA got at Perkins, especially Green and Kevin Durant.
The former teammates went live on Instagram, with Durant pointing out some supposed Olympic “Power Rankings” that had Team USA in the fourth position. Green immediately chimed in and called Perkins’ name, saying “Act like you American” before responding to Durant’s power rankings remark with “Like this is not our game?”
Perkins himself obviously caught wind of the comments and essentially implied he was living in the heads of some Team USA players free of charge.
Green wasn’t quite finished with the trash talk, however. Later on Saturday evening, he tweeted at Perkins and even coined Perk’s “Carry the hell on!” catchphrase.
To his credit, Perkins was quick to point out that the last three NBA MVPs have been international players. Still, while Perkins might have a case in terms of individual talent, the Olympics are about the collective. Ultimately, Team USA lived up to the billing in terms of having the greatest assemblage of talent in the world.
Can Green help the Warriors get back to the apex of the NBA?
Having played his role in Tokyo, Green will return to the States in the hopes of revitalizing Golden State’s former glory.
The Warriors were the subject of plenty of offseason rumors, though they ultimately made fringe moves like signing Nemanja Bjelica and bringing back Andre Iguodala. The most important addition will come from within, as Klay Thompson is working back from an Achilles injury.
Thompson and Stephen Curry might hold the keys to the Dubs’ championship hopes, but Green remains the heart and soul of the organization. The fiery Warriors forward was a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year and sets the tone with his motor and varied skill set.
The Western Conference should once again be tremendously competitive, but Green and the Warriors will likely do their best to get back to the NBA mountaintop. Perhaps Kendrick Perkins will eventually provide more bulletin board material.