After just four games, Draymond Green is already in midseason form.
This has nothing to do with basketball. No, this is Draymond reaching peak Draymondness, a state where anything he says into a mic turns to gold. Draymond says whatever he thinks, and the things that Draymond Green thinks are almost always novel and, frankly, refreshing. Golden State’s 133-103 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night provided a few perfect opportunities for Green to do what he does best: talk.
Late in the third quarter, rookie Dennis Smith Jr. received the ball on the left wing with the lane clear to the hoop. As he careened toward the basket, Green slid over into his path. He didn’t totally block it (we’ll come back to this), but he did protect the rim enough to force Smith to miss a poster-worthy dunk. Green went right at Smith following the miss.
“You ain’t never gonna dunk on me.”
“You’re a boy.”
Green wasn’t done. When asked postgame about the dunk attempt, in which Green fouled Smith, it was like he was back on the court continuing his stand-up routine.
“That shit ain’t happening, check my résumé,” he said. “This ain’t summer league, bro.”
Smith didn’t back down postgame. “He’s rambling about nothing,” Smith said. “It ain’t like he blocked it.”
Green’s comedic parlance didn’t stop there. When Mavs undrafted rookie Gian Clavell entered the game during garbage time, a shot from the broadcast showed Green repeatedly yelling, “Hey, who is this?”
Draymond when Mavs rookie Gian Clavell entered the game: "Hey, who is this?" pic.twitter.com/KQB12yx5DN— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 24, 2017
God bless Klay Thompson’s soul for having the patience and naivete to try to explain it to him.
Draymond’s discourse typically fluctuates from jovial but serious trash-talking to irked ranting. Sometimes it can be funny. Sometimes it can be good. Like when Jordan Bell pulled off the dunk of the game Monday night, throwing it off the backboard to himself much to the chagrin of both coaches and armchair critics, Draymond made sure to back Bell up in his presser. (Side note: I hope you’re happy with that cash, Bulls.)
“When you get on a basketball floor—I don't care if you get out there with two minutes to go, up 25, or two minutes to go, down 25—somebody is evaluating you,” Green said. “So you got to play the game the same way as if it's tied up or you up four or down four. … If you want to throw it off the backboard, feel free, and dunk the ball. He got an and-one. It was a great play.”
Sometimes Green’s schtick can feel unnecessary. In a basketball media environment that trafficks in compelling quotes, the more Green says, the better, but when the Warriors lost to the Grizzlies on Saturday night, and Green proceeded to jokingly call Steph Curry and Kevin Durant’s ejections “unacceptable”, you wonder if the Warriors would prefer it if he didn’t say that to the media.
The reality, it seems, and one we’ve come to know, is that Green can’t be corralled. Because everywhere he goes—from the court, to the podium, to the internet—there’s a stage on which he can do what he does best: speak. Four games in, the reel is already full of highlights.