Draymond Green probably won’t like the headline above this sentence. The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are done playing in the second round of the NBA playoffs, but Green is still making headlines talking about how both teams have swept their first eight games.
In fact, he’s getting pretty tired of making said headlines.
Green lightly admonished the media at Tuesday’s shootaround, saying those searching for headlines in his words are often missing what he’s actually saying.
When a reporter compared his thoughts about Cleveland’s play with their own postseason success, Green took the opportunity to mock the “controversy” he created the last time he spoke about Cleveland’s play.
“I didn’t say I was disappointed with their competition. First off, people always want to take a statement—put a piece of a statement and then say ‘Oh man, Draymond said the Cavs aren’t playing anybody.’
They never say ‘Draymond said Cleveland’s playing great basketball.’ You know, so everybody’s always chasing the headline and the controversy. Watching ESPN is not like watching a controversial reality TV show. You know, it’s pretty pathetic that that’s the headline that everybody wants.”
Green seems to call out ESPN specifically, but he mentions headlines as well. Websites are sure to pull out the juiciest comments to get clicks, but Green doesn’t like when his actual words aren’t taken for what they’re worth.
Since Green is striving for accuracy, so let’s quote him in full here:
“‘Draymond’s disappointed with who Cleveland plays.’ Did I care who Cleveland played, or how the other team played? But I am a basketball fan and I know what I want to watch as a basketball fan. So, you know, I don’t understand how all these things are always made so controversial.
Not that it alters my daily life, like I still go home and have fun with my kids and have a great day. But it’s just ridiculous how everybody’s always searching for a controversy.
So there go y’all headline of the day: Draymond said Cleveland’s playing great basketball.”
Draymond has a bit of a point here—if you’re looking to make his comments incendiary, it’s easy to do so. But what he actually said in this case wasn’t all that outlandish. Green said the Cavaliers are playing great basketball and the teams they’ve swept were not playing all that well. Considering how both series went, that’s not all that much of a stretch.
He also was very complementary of the Utah Jazz, who his Warriors also swept. Green was sure to point out reasons why he didn’t think their four-game series win was “boring,” which is how it was described on TNT during Game 4.
What’s interesting here is that Green argues when he talks about other NBA series, he’s speaking as a fan. That’s an interesting perspective to have given how kind he was to the Jazz: the team he’s playing is for work, the rest of the league is a product for his consumption.
That’s a fair perspective to have for now, I suppose, but with the postseason arcing toward another trip to the Finals for the Warriors, those Cavaliers teams he’s watching for fun may soon become work. And whatever he says about them will only make a bigger headline.