Green hits back at Rondo 'baiting' claims
Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green has adamantly denied suggestions he has been antagonising Rajon Rondo during their conference semi-finals series against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Green and Pelicans point guard Rondo have clashed during the three meetings so far, including an apparent attempt by the latter to trip Green during game three on Friday.
The Pelicans won 119-100 to cut the Warriors' series lead to 2-1 but Green's focus post-match was on launching a staunch defence of his conduct.
"I haven't been getting into it with Rondo," he said. "You've seen me get into people before.
"When have I gotten into it with Rondo in this series? Maybe once. I wouldn't even say getting into it though."
Put to Green by a reporter that he had been face to face with Rondo, he replied: "That's basketball. You're going to be face to face with somebody, that's how you guard.
"How many times have I walked up to him? I haven't gotten into it with him. Period."
After 21 AST & 10 REB in the @PelicansNBA Game 3 W, Rajon Rondo now has two #NBAPlayoffs games with at least 20 assists and 10 rebounds (also 2011 at NY).-- NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) May 5, 2018
The only other player ever to do that even once is Magic Johnson (twice, in 1984 & 1991). #SAPStatLineOfTheNightpic.twitter.com/ry5zG8vo9R
It was then suggested that the players had been "baiting" each other, which prompted another backlash from an increasingly frustrated Green.
"I don't have to bait Rondo. I get nothing out of trying to bait Rondo. That does nothing for me," he added. "Once again, when have I went up to him and tried to bait him?
"You all hate the storyline of somebody trying to bait me, I've just got to be involved. 'Oh, Draymond's doing this'.
"At some point somebody's got to tell the truth. It ain't Draymond this time.
"I've baited a lot of guys, I've tried to bait a lot of guys, succeeded quite a bit, sometimes failed.
"I ain't tried to bait nobody. At some point somebody's got to tell the truth and I know that's not quite the DNA these days, but at some point you've got to tell the truth.
"Draymond ain't trying to bait nobody. I'm chilling, playing basketball.
"I look forward to you all telling the truth one day. Maybe it won't happen. I ain't expecting it, but I do look forward to it."