Green acknowledged there has been some serious dislike of Paul in the past strictly based on both of them being fiery competitors chasing the same goal of winning. Paul felt the same way for all those years facing off against the emotional Golden State forward.
“We’re trying to get championships, Chris was trying to get championships,” Green said at Monday’s media day, where Paul showed off his new No. 3 white Warriors jersey. “And guess what? When you’re competing for that at the level that we’ve competed for that, that sometimes brings hate because we’re going after the same thing, and that definitely had brought that between us.”
Andrew Wiggins for one can’t wait to see Green and Paul on the court together: “Draymond, CP (Chris Paul) — they’re players you hate to play against, but you love to have them on your team. They’re dogs.”
For now, Green is nursing a sprained left ankle that will sideline him for at least the first two weeks of training camp.
The 33-year-old Green is scheduled to be reevaluated in two weeks as he enters his 12th NBA season after getting hurt late last week, the team said.
“Didn’t quite foresee this coming into the season, but everything happens for a reason,” said Green, who missed a portion of training camp last year when he took a brief leave of absence after punching then-teammate Jordan Poole.
Green said he was scrimmaging in an informal setting when he drove for a layup and landed awkwardly on the foot of teammate Jonathan Kuminga and hurt his ankle.
“I’ve had some bad ones. It could have been as bad, I thought it was going to be, initially,” Green said.
“We were just playing pickup, I was going in for a layup, came down on JK’s foot. I feel like I’m improving fast, I’m a pretty fast healer.”
Green and the Warriors hope to make another deep postseason run with the core lineup of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney and Wiggins returning from the 2022 championship team, along with Gary Payton II, Kuminga and the new additions of veterans Paul and Rudy Gay. Golden State lost to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals.
Paul and Curry worked out together Sunday night.
“He looks good,” Curry said of Paul in Golden State gear.
In June, the Warriors acquired Paul from Washington for Poole.
Green and Paul have chatted, went to lunch, “had a great conversation, all these kinds of things,” said the 38-year-old Paul, entering his 19th NBA season.
“We’ve been the craziest competitors against each other for a long time,” Paul said. “There [are] a lot of things that’s said here and there. I tend to deal with things a lot more privately. It’s funny, man, life is crazy.”
Green was in good spirits Monday and walked without a limp for his podium interview.
“How’s everyone?” Green said, grinning. “Welcome back to the real world, life.”
Life with a new teammate he battled for years. The big question is whether Paul will start or come off the bench, to which he noted, “I think anybody who knows me knows I’m all about winning.”
“I’m here to hoop!” he declared.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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