‘Fortunately, Barnes’ new ex-teammates know how important they’ve all been to each other.
“Just because you go to a different team doesn’t mean the relationship is over,” Green said Thursday. “Harrison? We won a championship together. We’re linked together forever. We’ve been through some stuff. We had a first-round exit together, we’ve had a second-round exit together. We won a championship, we lost a championship. You don’t just wash that away because someone goes to a different team. That’s there — and it’ll be there forever.”
Said Thompson: “It’s weird. It’s like the last chapter we’ll play together in our basketball careers. But we’re embracing it. HB’s a great guy. It’s a friendship that will last for a lifetime. I’m proud of him. He’s only scratched the surface of what he can do. I’m happy for him, and me and Draymond are happy for one more go-round because he really is a great teammate.”
Barnes owns some of the responsibility for how this all played out. While he was quoted in an ESPN.com story this week as saying, “The decision was more so made for me,” Barnes could have pre-empted the head-spinning events of early July by accepting Golden State’s offer last summer of a four-year, $64 million contract extension.
He and his representatives gambled correctly, as far as the 6-foot-8 forward’s market value in what admittedly was the most crazed, money-fueled market the NBA ever has seen (the salary cap jumped from $70 million last season to $94.1 million for 2016-17 thanks to revenue from a new TV contract). Barnes signed an offer sheet with the Dallas Mavericks for four years, $95 million.
“He always embraces a new challenge,” Thompson said of Barnes. “He wants to be one of those go-to guys. I’m excited for him. He’s going to do great things in Dallas.”
“I think some people view it as, ‘Aw, this is your last time to play with Harrison’ or ‘your first time to play with KD.’ But we don’t view it that way,” Green said. “We’re trying to get the gold medal. Nobody cares that KD just came to the Warriors or Harrison just left. The game in Vegas, me, KD and Klay was on the floor together. I didn’t even notice. We were just playing. ‘Cause it’s not important right now.'(NBA.com Steve Aschburner)
I have a hard time believing that grown men would feel the need to create cliques or out people based on where they work during the winter season. Such is evident considering the amount of photos we’ve seen from Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving sharing conversations. However, I will say one thing on Barnes’ behalf, he’s the real winner here. He gambled on himself and got himself paid. I expect him to do big things for Dallas.
“We’re not going to try to clique this team up. This team has gotten really close, really fast. To try to clique it up and create a divide, you don’t do that. We all got the same goal. That’s Aug. 21, winning the gold medal. Everything else is secondary.”- Draymond Green