When one of your star players puts more flavor in his Periscope meal prep than his press-conference quotes, and your big free-agent addition looks like he’d rather be anywhere than a postgame press conference, you’ve got yourself a spokesperson problem. Yes, the league’s scariest superteam has a personality vacuum, and Draymond Green is doing his best to fill it.
Here’s an old proverb: One can see into another man’s soul only after looking at the “Favorites” tab on his Twitter account. Actually, forget his Favorites — Green’s timeline of tweets tells the same story as his postgame interviews, his podcast, his “Wired” mic on the court, and the testimony of players who face him: He likes to talk. So on Tuesday, when he sent out this subtweet …
… everyone knew who he was talking to. Green’s need to respond to anything — relevant to him or not — borders on the impulsive during the playoffs. The tweet was about Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who had recently been asked about Draymond describing his teammate Kelly Olynyk as “dirty” on Green’s podcast. Draymond was not participating in that game, he’s not in the series, and he doesn’t play in the Eastern Conference, but he let everyone know that he “didn’t respect” guys like Olynyk, a “dirty player” who is “not the greatest basketball player.”
Thomas told reporters that it’s a “joke” that Draymond feels he can say that, adding, “I don’t know how he can call anybody dirty,” and he wasn’t alone in seeing the … ballsiness of Dray’s comments: Inside the NBA hopped into the debate, showing a graphic of the two players that noted Draymond’s 44 technical fouls to Olynyk’s three, and his six flagrants and three ejections to Kelly’s collective zero.
Even Charles Barkley, who joked during the show that Draymond’s comments on Olynyk were “like Shaq calling me fat, Ernie,” wasn’t safe from the Warriors’ de facto voice. In response to a question from a reporter comparing Green’s and Chuck’s trash-talk-inflected games, Draymond responded: “Hell no. I’m the modern-day Draymond Green.”
Roll your eyes if you must, but a lack of self-restraint combined with a flair for topical observations makes for incredible quotes. Just take Green attacking the Eastern Conference two days prior, for example. He had dogged the playoff product in the East, calling it “weak” basketball. While clearly a dig at Cleveland’s opponents, it was also a gut punch to the Cavs: You guys haven’t played anybody.
Of course, with the exception of a lone competitive half in Game 1, Golden State’s first round was a far less entertaining sweep than the Lance Stephenson revival. Even while playing for a team with greater playoff point differentials than Cleveland’s, Green is unabashedly saying things like, “I thought teams would compete a little harder.”
Unwarranted, yes, and annoying, definitely. But Green’s inability to (verbally and physically) keep to himself brings the juice out of an otherwise dry (or, in Curry’s case, dry-rubbed and slow-smoked) team. Kevin Durant says he doesn’t hate the media (OK), Klay Thompson forgets what he’s talking about midsentence, and the only controversy Steph finds himself in is Under Armour’s “Ayesha” shoes looking better than his white lows. And Utah is boring?
It’s time to accept and praise Draymond as the Warriors’ personality-suck savior — until he gets suspended, that is.