The things that make Draymond Green a great basketball player and become such a huge part of the Golden State Warriors, are also the things that make him a lightning bolt for trouble, whether it’s on the court or off of it.
Green is currently practicing with Team USA members preparing for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, as the American team will try to win a gold medal for the third consecutive time, and a fifth consecutive international tournament. Green took another step towards superstardom this season. Not just his rising numbers, but his profile, becoming one of the better known players around the league. No longer Steph Curry’s teammate, but possibly being recognized as the most important player on team making the Finals two years in a row, winning one championship.
In the usual “what have you done for me lately” tradition, the narrative of the Warriors and for Green has changed after losing the championship to the Cleveland Cavaliers. From a dynasty in the making, to a group of arrogant players who need to enlist the powers of Kevin Durant in order to beat a healthy LeBron James, Cavs & Co. Green also got to see a different kind of treatment. He was a golden boy, a lovable, talented enforcer combined with a forward who can do it all on both ends of the floor. That was after the championship in 2015. Now? He’s a villain, someone who can’t control himself, who got in the way of another title.
Green admits that he’s to blame for the Warriors collapsing. Trying to hit LeBron James in game 4 of the 2016 finals resulted in his suspension, and the Cavaliers winning three straight. No matter how much Steve Kerr tried to defend him, and how much his teammates tried to make LeBron James seem like a soft snitch, Green is the only one to blame. He says he’ll learn from it, but weeks later he says he’s not going to change.
The latest incident didn’t involve him kicking someone in the groin or elbowing someone in the head. Green was involved in an altercation in East Lansing with a former Michigan State football player, slapping the players and maybe doing some other things in response to some argument and exchange of words. It’s now out of Green’s hands, as he tries to leave it in the hands of his lawyers, while Green is focused on winning a gold medal, and maybe forgetting about the month of June. He has mentioned that it’s a loss he’ll never get over, but winning can help cure anything.
An interesting difference between the NBA and other leagues, the NFL and MLB in particular: Green isn’t suspended, not by the Warriors in some way, not fined by the league, not taken off the national team. Things work differently in baseball and football, who don’t even care whether or not the police and the courts deem someone guilty or not. They pass their own judgement, and punish accordingly. While he may need to do a better job in controlling his temper, Green is probably going to continue unharmed from a basketball standpoint.