Draymond Green is perhaps the fiercest player in the NBA, but did you know just how intense he really is.
You don’t have to look very hard to see Draymond Green’s intensity on the court, but he’s just as fiery off the court.
Lee Jenkins has a profile of the budding Warriors star in this week’s Sports Illustrated that gives an inside look at what a maniac Green is. Let’s check out some of the best examples.
He got in a shouting match with Steve Kerr at halftime
Sometimes Kerr is the object of his ire, as occurred at Oklahoma City in February, when the coach singled out Green during a halftime film session. They had to be restrained from each other in the locker room. As the Warriors took the floor for the second half, trailing by 11, Walton begged Green to apologize, for fear Kerr would bench him. “I’ll do that later,” Green said. “This whole team is about to follow my passion, my anger.” In the huddle, Kerr drew up a play on his grease board with only four names. “Where am I?” Green hollered. “Where is my name?”
“You’re playing?” Kerr asked.
He still calls Tom Izzo in the middle of the night
“I sucked, I sucked, I sucked,” he told Izzo after a first-round clunker. Yes, he still calls his college coach at 4 a.m., still suggests pick-and-roll coverages against Ohio State, still texts Spartans guard Denzel Valentine: “You’re not grinding!” Green donated $3.1 million to Michigan State’s athletic department last year, but that’s just one of many contributions.
He really wanted time on the court as a kid
When Green used to go play ball at the rec center in his hometown in Michigan, the older kids didn’t listen when he said he had next.
He’d sit down in the middle of the court and scream, “Who do you think you are? I’m not leaving this floor for you!” Regulars alternated between sticking him in trash cans, rolling him in rugs, setting him on the rim and banishing him to the pool table. He hurled billiard balls at his tormentors. “There were grown men trying to fight me,” Green says, “and I fought them all.”
He wasn’t your typical rookie
A few days after Green lost his first preseason game in Denver, the Dubs practiced in Portland, and the brash rookie upbraided veterans David Lee and Jeremy Tyler: “I’m going to push you, David! I’m going to push you, Jeremy! If I cuss you out, don’t take it the wrong way: I’m pushing you!” His new teammates looked at him as if he were possessed.
His college coach assigned an assistant to keep him from boiling over
The coach put up with Green kicking missed shots to the rafters in practice and challenging play calls in timeouts—“Some of our huddles were a freaking war zone,” Izzo laughs—because the Dancing Bear was the rare player who cared as much as he did. Izzo’s top assistant, Dwayne Stephens, was put in charge of defusing Day Day, staring down Green whenever he noticed the steam rising from his scalp.
He really doesn’t like getting beaten on defense
After Lakers forward Julius Randle singed Green in the preseason with his go-to stutter-step move, Green asked Warriors special assistant Nick U’Ren for every clip of the move, going back to Randle’s days at Kentucky. “I studied the s--- out of that move,” Green says, “and figured out what I needed to do to stop it.”
He can’t turn the switch off
Green does not unwind easily. He is a terrible sleeper who can’t nap for more than 20 minutes—“I feel like I’m missing something”—and can’t caffeinate because he fears he will grow too hyper. He lacks the patience to cook with his girlfriend or sit at the park with their eight-year-old daughter. He chills out by watching basketball—specifically women’s basketball.