How intense Draymond-Kerr fight helped Looney come out of his shell

How intense Draymond-Kerr fight helped Looney come out of his shell originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

While Kevon Looney is far from the loudest voice in the Warriors’ locker room, he has blossomed into one of the team’s most respected leaders over the years.

The soft-spoken center, to nobody’s surprise, was a quiet 19-year-old in his rookie 2015-2016 NBA season, oftentimes keeping his thoughts and emotions to himself. That is until one behind-the-scenes incident allowed him to break out of his shell.

Looney joined longtime teammate and Warriors forward Draymond Green on the latest episode of “The Draymond Green Show,” where the two recalled a fiery locker room incident involving Green and coach Steve Kerr at halftime of a 2016 Western Conference Finals game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and how the altercation, and Looney’s reaction to it, allowed the big man to open up around his teammates.

“This guy (Looney) hadn’t said a word all year, and then me and Steve [Kerr] are going at it in the locker room and he’s sitting there like uncontrollably laughing,” Green recalled. “And then the starts to talk and then the reality is to see something like that, me personally, I feel like that’s the Milwaukee in him. It opened you up.”

“In this moment, Steve wanted to kill me and then he realized I wanted to kill him.”

The passionate argument in the Warriors’ locker room showed Looney just how serious his new team was about winning, which he respected and appreciated.

“Coming in as a rookie, I was hurt to start the year off so I didn’t really get a chance to be around y’all, be in the locker room,” Looney said. “I was rehabbing at a different place so it was a little bit weird being around you guys, plus you guys were a little bit older. And we didn’t lose a game either so I was like alright I don’t feel comfortable being myself. Everything seemed like it was all roses, winning every game and then to see something happen where guys were really tested, I was reminded of my teams growing up.

“People really want to win, the fight to win. And I see y’all sit together, it made me feel comfortable. I feel like I was with my guys, like ‘these my type of dudes right here’ … I felt really comfortable and came out of my shell a little bit.”

For as serious as the incident might have appeared to those outside the Warriors’ locker room, Looney still can’t help but laugh at the scene that unfolded.

“That was one of the funniest things I’ve been a part of,” Looney added. “Sitting next to [Marreese] Speights and everybody trying to calm everybody down, I couldn’t help myself from laughing. It was a serious moment, but hearing Klay [Thompson] in the background telling Draymond [to] ‘relax’ … that was one of the funniest things I’ve been a part of.”

The Warriors went on to beat the Thunder after the locker room incident and advance to the NBA Finals, where they famously blew a 3-1 series lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, six years and potentially countless heated conversations later, Looney and Golden State would win three more championships, cementing themselves as one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history.

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