The 2022 NBA Finals produced a litany of beef-worthy offenses.
The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors traded verbal jabs throughout their championship series in June, with some even going as far as to decree themselves the “petty king” and continue his slights well into the offseason.
The two most apparent offenders during the finals, however, were Celtics forward Grant Williams and Warriors forward Draymond Green — who continuously sparred throughout the series before ultimately showing each other respect following the final buzzer.
Williams explained the dynamic between the two on Miami Heat guard Duncan Robinson’s “The Long Shot” podcast.
“In that Warriors series, Dray was chilling during most of the series in terms of how vocal he was,” Williams said. “But for me, it was like, ‘Let’s get to it. Let’s compete.’ So that first game, his thing is he always says ‘bozo’ or he screams, (expletive). That’s his thing. Versus me, I’m always trying to do the annoying thing, saying annoying (expletive).”
In trying to get under Green’s skin, Williams shared his ability to do research and find things to say to the four-time All-Star.
“I got facts about this man from, like, Google and stuff,” Williams said. “… I remember someone told me this story about how he got into an altercation when he was younger and he was knocked out… And that’s the first time I’ve ever had Dray not say something back to me. And I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, I got one.'”
But, if their postgame embrace from Game 6 is any indicator, the two competitors share respect for one another, with Williams saying, “At the end of the day, it’s all love. That’s a guy I modeled my game (after) and I idolized.”
Though he ended with kind words, there’s little doubt Green will soon have a response for Williams on his own podcast. The Celtics’ first matchup with the Warriors in 2022-23 should be fun.