Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson did not directly say on Sunday that LeBron James shouldn't have been upset about Draymond Green's trash talk in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, but he made his opinion perfectly clear. James reportedly was offended that Green called him a "b****" on Friday, two days before Green was suspended for Game 5.
"Guys talk trash in this league all the time," Thompson said. "I'm just kind of shocked some guys take it so personal. You know, it's a man's league and I've heard a lot of bad things on that court, but at the end of the day, it stays on the court. We're all competitive people. Trash talk is a part of the game in basketball. I feel like it's a part of any sport, especially this competitive."
A reporter then asked Thompson directly if he thought James overreacted.
"I don't know," Thompson said. "I don't know how the man feels. But obviously people have feelings and people's feelings get hurt even if they're called a bad word. I guess his feelings just got hurt. I mean, we've all been called plenty of bad words on the basketball court before. Some guys just react to it differently. All I can say, for myself individually, I just try to ignore it or just let it fuel the fire, but I don't carry it with me when the job is done."
Translation: James overreacted, and he should have just taken Green's comments in stride. Instead, he made a big deal of it.
There is another way to look at this, however: James knew that Green was one flagrant foul or two technical fouls away from a suspension, so he tried to provoke him and it worked. Thompson did not sign off on this idea, saying that he doesn't know what James' motives were.
"From my point of view it just looked like two competitors or who wanted to win very badly getting tangled up," Thompson said. "I've seen it thousands of times in this league. Obviously with the stakes that are, we're playing for everything's going to be a little more in the spotlight."
In general, the Warriors tried not to say much about the Green-James incident. They expressed disappointment in the suspension, but did not want to publicly criticize James or the league. It is not difficult, however, to read between the lines here.