The Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies bring out the best and sometimes the worst in each other.
It’s often one-sided, but it’s a strong competition in star power between Stephen Curry, Ja Morant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Dillon Brooks. The buzz on and off the court has helped make it one of the most competitive rivalries in the NBA.
Bad blood has made for some interesting basketball games, but how did we get here? The feud between these two teams has spanned four seasons — and it all starts with Andre Iguodala.
Rookies vs. Vets
In July 2019, Memphis acquired Iguodala in a trade with Golden State. After Kevin Durant left for the Brooklyn Nets, the Warriors needed to clear cap space to sign and trade D’Angelo Russell.
But the 2015 NBA Finals MVP never reported for training camp or expressed interest in Memphis. “It’s been a blessing in disguise … I think it’s added a few years to my career,” Iguodala said in January 2020 of being part of the First Adoption program.
The following month, Memphis agreed to a deal with the Miami Heat that sent Iggy to South Beach. But before that, Grizzlies players expressed their displeasure with Iguodala’s short tenure as a teammate.
Brooks’ comments about Iguodala inconsistent?
Jay Williams responds to Dillon Brooks’ comments that he can’t wait for the Grizzlies to trade Andre Iguodala.
“The first time I saw him on TV was talking about us,” Brooks said. “It doesn’t even matter. Andre Iguodala is a great player. I feel like he’s doing the right thing for his career, but we don’t care. It’s not a concern at all. I laugh at things like that. A guy who doesn’t want to be on our team, I want to play with him and show what Memphis is all about.” can’t wait to find a way to replace it.
The fate of 8 seeds
As luck would have it, the Grizzlies and Warriors faced off in the 8th seed in the regular season finale.
Golden State led 55-49 at halftime, then Stephen Curry and Co. exploded in the third quarter to take an 86-69 lead. Brooks started the fourth quarter with an eight-point run that closed the gap to 86-77. He stayed hot in the final frame and converted a game-tying three-pointer with 6:32 left. Soon after, Green picked up Brooks’ sixth foul, sending him to the bench for the final 6:12.
The Warriors won 113-101, but thanks to the NBA’s introduction of a play-in tournament, it wasn’t long before these teams met again.
Run it backwards @warriors
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) May 20, 2021
Five days later, the rematch went to overtime.
Memphis had a 10-point lead with 3:36 left, but free throws by Jordan Poole and Curry combined with timely layups by Green and Andrew Wiggins to send the game into overtime.
The Grizzlies won 117-112 to clinch the No. 8 seed and end a three-year playoff drought.
Strength in numbers
After he spent the better part of two seasons as a point guard in the competition, things turned around with Iggy returning to Golden State for the 2021-22 season.
.@andre Back in the BAY ‼️ pic.twitter.com/6Sfh39LQn0
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) August 11, 2021
The Grizzlies won the two teams’ regular-season matchups 3-1, and Jaren Jackson Jr. stirred the pot by tweeting the Warriors’ rallying cry after beating them 123-95 in a game that didn’t feature Curry, Thompson and Green. .
Strength in numbers 👏🏾
— JJJ (@jarenjacksonjr) March 29, 2022
The beef really came to a head when the two teams met in the conference semifinals. Game 1 was high-profile, but Green was only involved in half of it thanks to a second-quarter toss. Thompson hit a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left to give the Warriors a one-point lead. Morant missed a last-second shot that would have been enough to prevent Memphis from losing 117-116.
Broke the code
Game 2 was another pivotal episode in this tumultuous relationship. Brooks was ejected in the opening minutes of the game after hitting Gary Payton II, who broke his left elbow during the incident.
The Golden State side, including head coach Steve Kerr, saw it as a dirty play.
“Dillon Brooks broke the code,” Kerr said. “That’s how I see it.”
Oops, that’s a trick
The Warriors entered Game 5 up 3-1, poised to end the Grizzlies’ playoff run.
Ahead of the potential streak, Curry gave ESPN’s Kendra Andrews some insight into Golden State’s mentality:
“Oh, there! That’s our game plan.”
“Whoop That Trick” is a song by Memphis rapper Al Capona, and it served as the Grizzlies’ unofficial anthem when they played at FedExForum during the final moments of a game in the series.
The Grizzlies responded with a 134-95 shutout.
Steph and Draymond seemed to enjoy the moment the song played, despite the huge deficit.
THIS trick… Steph and Draymond are enjoying themselves. pic.twitter.com/rZuatdxO8N
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) May 12, 2022
The Warriors won Game 6 110-96 to advance to the conference finals, and Memphis looked forward to its next matchup.
“They know we come every year,” Brooks said. “We’re young and they’re getting old, so they know we’re coming every year.”
Strength in Numbers, II
Golden State won the NBA Finals, but even in the league’s heyday, the Grizzlies still came to mind.
“Strength in numbers is alive and well,” Thompson said after winning the championship. “The Grizzlies had one player [Jaren Jackson Jr.] “Strength in numbers” was tweeted after beating us in the regular season and it pissed me off. I can’t wait to retweet this thing. In vain. I had to see this. Me: “That’s a horrible” clown. Sorry, this memory just popped up. Are you kidding us? You’ve never been before. We’ve been there before, and we know what it takes. So grab it to be here again.”
Morant wasn’t dismissive of his teammate, and it didn’t take long for Green to chime in.
got a lot of real estate 😂 https://t.co/5JYqhn8Vw0
— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) June 17, 2022
im spinnin 🤐 https://t.co/MbmW1QhpUe
— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) June 19, 2022
Two months later, they continued their Twitter interactions in the offseason, expressing excitement that the two teams were scheduled to meet as part of the NBA’s Christmas Day schedule.
The power of your voice is here Young! Come on! Take the family to the crib for dinner https://t.co/xs8GpKkQtE
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) August 13, 2022
It’s good in the west
Memphis jumped to a 19-11 record and was named the best in the conference. Noting that he’s “good in the West,” Morant called the Boston Celtics the Grizzlies’ only competition.
Why the future of the NBA is in good hands
Malika Andrews sits down with Ja Morant, Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum and Donovan Mitchell to talk about their impact on the game of basketball and what it means to be the next generation of stars.
It was prolific bulletin board material for Golden State, which cruised to a 123-109 victory in the Christmas Day game. While this match wasn’t spectacular, the history between the teams was evident as seven technical fouls were assessed – six of which belonged to the Warriors.
Their meeting on 26 January ended with the Warriors coming back with a last-second victory for Poole.
The feeling is mutual
Things got heated after Brooks openly shared with ESPN’s Tim Keown that he hates Golden State.
“I don’t like Draymond at all,” Brooks said. “I don’t like Golden State. I don’t like anything with them. Draymond talks a lot. He gets away with a lot. He has a great game – with Golden State – but if you put him down. You can’t tell who Draymond is anywhere else. He plays with heart, he plays hard. , knows the ins and outs of their defense. I think they like him there.
That prompted Green to respond on The Draymond Green Show podcast.
.@Money23Green Dillon responds to Brooks’ comments pic.twitter.com/cHu7R9A5nf
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) March 8, 2023
Brooks and the Grizzlies got the last word (figuratively) after a dominating 131-110 victory on March 9, their first win against the Warriors of the season.
Brooks trolls Draymond in postgame interview
Dillon Brooks reacts to Draymond Green after the Grizzlies beat the Warriors.
Despite the history, Green says he still doesn’t call Memphis a rival.
“The competition is you win, I win. “Of course, we’ve won four times and they have zero championships in their organization, so I can’t really call it a rivalry.” Green said after the game.
Semantics aside, he cannot deny that the relationship exists at least paint the town red.