Draymond Green has been a lightning rod for criticism ever since his on-court antics during the playoffs last spring, most notably for kicking Steven Adams in the groin and an altercation with LeBron James that earned him a one-game suspension during the Finals, arguably the turning point in that series. He also made headlines over the summer for a couple of off-the-court incidences as well, including an arrest on assault charges and an embarrassing NSFW Snapchat snafu.
All of the above, as well as widespread rumors about his general abrasiveness towards teammates and coaching staff, has caused some to wonder aloud whether Green’s fiery persona could end up being detrimental to the team. But in a recent profile by Chris Palmer of Bleacher Report, Green seeks to rehabilitate his public image, claiming that there much more than meets the eye:
“OK, there’s the Draymond Green you see out on the floor,” he explains. “But that’s not me. I mean, it is, but there’s more. People see the fiery guy, the competitive guy, the trash talk and everything. But they don’t see the love and compassion. They don’t see the person. They don’t see the real me who values his friends and puts people first. I put everyone and everything before myself. That’s me.
“I could just give you a bunch of words,” Green continues, “but I want you to understand. People don’t see what’s underneath. At the end of the day, I care for you. It’s not just about how I am on the basketball court.
“I got real love for you,” he says. “That’s what allows my teammates to accept me.”
It’s a perfectly plausibly explanation. After all, it’s presumptuous to think we can understand his true character without knowing him personally. But the problem with public figures is that perception is everything, and Green has built quite the reputation among his peers, fans, team officials, league personnel, and the media throughout his career.
Still, the Warriors insist that his intensity is what gives them their edge and has been a crucial part of their success. So far, they’ve been willing to take the good with the bad. Given the negative publicity he’s garnered lately, it’ll be interesting to see how he tries to find the balance this season as the Warriors embark on yet another championship quest with even loftier expectations, considering their off-season acquisition of Kevin Durant.