Epic Macklin Celebrini chirp had Warriors' locker room laughing

Epic Macklin Celebrini chirp had Warriors' locker room laughing originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

If the Sharks land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday, they'll have the first crack at top prospect Macklin Celebrini, the son of Rick Celebrini, the Warriors' director of sports medicine and performance.

Not only would the Sharks be adding a franchise-altering talent on the ice, but they would be adding a locker room presence with a good sense of humor.

The latest anecdote comes courtesy of ESPN's Emily Kaplan, who relayed a story from January 2023 about how Draymond Green led the charge for a group of Warriors players and coaches -- in Chicago to play the Bulls -- to go watch the younger Celebrini play a junior hockey game for the Chicago Steel in Geneva, Ill., which is about a 40-mile drive from United Center.

And while Green and the Warriors contingent made the long drive to show support for Macklin, they didn't stay for the entire game, leaving after the second period, per Kaplan.

Green and Co. missed Celebrini scoring a third-period goal in the Steel's 4-2 loss to the Madison Capitols.

Rick stayed at Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva and when he saw Macklin after the game, his son dropped an epic line.

"Dad," Macklin said to Rick, per Kaplan. "I go to your games all the time, and they're boring as hell, and I don't leave."

The next day at United Center, Macklin's chirp was passed along to the Warriors and the locker room "erupted in laughter," per Kaplan.

It might seem strange for Green to want to go watch a junior hockey game, but he understands the sports world better than anyone and he wasn't going to pass up a chance to see hockey's next star.

"​​How often do you get an opportunity to see Sidney Crosby at 17?" Green told Kaplan.

Whether or not the Warriors' Saturday night in Geneva was to blame, they ended up losing to the Bulls the next day, 132-118 to drop to 21-22 during the 2022-23 NBA season.

As for the Sharks, Celebrini is the game-changing talent they have been searching for, and if they end up with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, the soon-to-be 18-year-old and Green both will be playing games in the Bay Area for the next few years.

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