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Warriors Star’s ‘Career on the Line Everyday’

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green

If you had to describe Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green in one word, ‘volatile’ might not capture the full essence of his personality. Forthright and full of life, Green is well-liked by many of his peers, even outside of the Warriors locker room. However, Green’s inability to reel himself has led to him earning a poor reputation, and rightly so.

As Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says, per The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, “he punched Jordan [Poole]. He grabbed Rudy Gobert by the neck. He flailed at [Jusuf Nurkic]. That stuff, just by basic laws of society, basic norms, you can’t do that, right?”

Draymond Green’s ‘Career on the Line Everyday’

Since the 2015-16 season, Green has been suspended for 21 games. 17 of those suspensions have occurred as a result of the incidents that Kerr has named. Green was also suspended one for game for stomping on Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis’ chest in the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

Kerr often looked resigned during the altercations and when referees ejected him. In the subsequent media pressers, he typically sided with the officials. Despite his loyalty to his team, even he had to admit that his star had crossed the line.

Again… and again.

“…When the league suspended him, it was the best thing to happen to Draymond,” Kerr says of the indefinite suspension levied by the league after he struck Nurkic in the face in mid-December.

“His career was on the line,” Kerr declares. “It is on the line every day.”

A ‘Complex’ Character

The Warriors’ head coach since 2014-15, Green’s third season, Kerr is as familiar with the Saginaw native as anyone. At least outside of his family and the Splash Brothers. Consequentially, he has quite the soft spot for Green.

“As someone who loves Draymond and values him so much, I am going to continue to help him any way that I can to live his best life, to be the best version of himself, which he really was for the last two months,” Kerr says.

However, Green’s behavior had gotten so bad that Kerr wondered whether he could actually change his ways, let alone if he would.

“I’ll be really honest, during the suspension, I was sitting there, like, ‘Can he actually get a few sessions of therapy and change? I don’t think that’s possible.”

During his suspension, Green opted to undergo therapy. By his own admission, it had been a long time coming. While initially hesitant to embrace psychoanalysis, he did recognize its value.

Seeming to take to the sessions, his return to the Warriors seemed to refresh the team, and not just because his teammates are fond of him.

“But whatever he did over the last three months, he was the best version of himself, not just on the court, in the locker room, leading the young guys. His teammates would all tell you how great he was.”

“Draymond’s complex. His relationship with our franchise is complex,” Kerr says, finding the best word to describe the 34-year-old.

“But at the core of it is a deep loyalty and passion and love, and we share that with him,” he continues. “…You make sure he’s the best version of himself and you keep pushing.”

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Feb 18, 2023; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; The NBA logo on the court at Huntsman Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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