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'I'm Ready': The Text That Started The Warriors' Dynasty

'I'm Ready': The Text That Started The Warriors' Dynasty
Published On: Tue, Jun 13
Jun 2, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) goes for a rebound againstGolden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) and Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut (12) in game one of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: John Mabanglo-Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

About 30 minutes after Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, Warriors forward Draymond Green sat at his locker in full uniform, fiddling with his phone. All around him, teammates hastily showered and dressed, rushing from Oracle Arena and the champagne fumes that polluted the air. But Green was in no hurry to leave. He replayed in his mind the climactic moments of a weeklong collapse against Cleveland: the chase-down block by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala, the clanked three-pointer by Steph Curry over Kevin Love, the mysterious cold front that froze Golden States usually reliable flamethrowers. How, Green wondered, can I make sure this never happens again?

He could start a group chat, or plan a Hawaiian retreat, or sleep in the gym every night from June to October. But grand gestures guarantee nothing against James. What will get us over this hump, Green asked himself, and make us incredible? Not just incredible for a year. What will make us incredible for a long, long time? Rather than what, the question was who. Green believed the Warriors needed a player to take stress off Curry, so he wouldnt always have to hit the 35-footer, and apply it to James, so he would never again be able to hide on Harrison Barnes, freelancing for blocks and steals. Only one such person who walks the earth was available.

And so, at that locker, in that uniform, less than an hour after the most excruciating loss of his life, Green punched up Kevin Durants number. See what were missing, Green says, recounting the text message he sent Durant. We need you. Make it happen. Green had been courting Durant for months, but this was his strongest pitch yet, delivered at the most dramatic juncture. Right after you lose Game 7, Green says, shows youre serious. Of course the Warriors did not need Durant, not really. They had gone 73"9 without him. But Green would leave nothing to chance. Neither, it turned out, would Durant.

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