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Draymond Green playoffs diary, Part 15

‘I feel like I have a way to go to being myself.’

Draymond Green has evolved into one of the most interesting personalities in the NBA, and perhaps all of sports — the vocal leader and emotional engine for one of the most compelling NBA teams in recent memory.

Green has agreed to give The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears an exclusive look into his life on and off the court, via a playoff diary that Green hopes will end with a second straight NBA championship for the Golden State Warriors.

Draymond Green Diary No. 15

The Golden State Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-111 in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals in Oakland, California, on Thursday night. The Thunder now own a 3-2 lead in the best of seven series and will host Game 6 on Saturday night. After struggling the previous two games, both losses, Green had 11 points, 13 rebounds, four blocks, four assists and one steal in 39 minutes. Only nine teams out of 232 have come back from a 3-1 deficit in NBA history.

Kobe’s [Bryant] texts meant a lot. I actually talked to him on the phone [Wednesday], as well. His message was, ‘If making history was easy, why bother?’ It meant a lot, because that’s a guy who has been in this position before. A guy who has done all the great things you can do in this game. So to get that text — at that moment when it’s a tough time — meant a lot.

“Before Game 5, I was really anxious. I wanted to get back on the floor to be better than we were last game and most importantly win. I was ready to get the monkey off our backs, ready to get the win under our belts and get ready to go to OKC and fight.

“I wore all-black sweats to the game because it’s a battle. It’s a fight. I’m coming to fight. I ain’t coming for no cameras. I ain’t coming for no show. I came to fight. Everything is a mindset. I didn’t want to put no extra energy into getting dressed. Just slip on some black sweats and roll out.

“On Saturday, that’s the same mindset: fight. It’s a battle. Going into Oklahoma City will be a hostile environment and it’s going to be tough. But, at the end of the day, we have to win one game on the road. It doesn’t have to be three. It doesn’t have to be four. It doesn’t have to be six. We have to go in there and battle. There’s no relief, because we are still down 3-2 and every game is a Game 7, at this point.

“I don’t feel like I got my mojo back, but I feel like I’m heading in the right direction. All I can do is battle. Everything else will take care of itself. I feel better. I feel good. But I feel like I have a way to go to being myself. You can’t control how a game goes. But I can control how hard I play. And that’s what I did tonight.

“I haven’t really been doing no soul-searching. I’m just being myself. Be you. I’d call it keeping it real with myself. I’ve been doing that for the last couple of days. I told myself that I can be me better than anyone else in this world. ”

Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for Andscape. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been able to in years and his knees still hurt.