Warriors’ Draymond Green on Hitting Rock Bottom and Bouncing Back
The two-time NBA champ talks about his lowest point, upbringing and winning ways.
Some might argue that superteams are ruining the game. Try telling that to Draymond Green, though. He doesn’t seem to care one bit. (“They didn’t stand a f-cking chance,” he told GQ.) That’s because he’s on one—the Golden State Warriors—and has happily won two of the last three NBA championships.
GQ caught up with Green 10 days after his team beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals. RealClearLife has teased out some of the most surprising facts from their feature-length story.
-At the time of the interview, the Warriors had two group text chats: one for the team; and another for the “Hampton Five,” which included Green, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, and Kevin Durant. (The four teammates had traveled to the Hamptons to recruit Durant in 2016.)
-After getting suspended from Game 5 in the 2016 finals for kicking an opponent—and was blasted for it in the press—Green phoned Kobe Bryant for advice. He basically told him not to worry about the haters.
-The summer after the finals loss, Green also made the mistake of sharing a naked picture of himself on Snapchat and getting arrested for allegedly slapping a Michigan State football player. Of those incidents “That was rock bottom for me,” Green told GQ. “People always wanted to paint me as this villain, this problem child, this guy who can’t control himself, this dangerous guy. I had heard that sh— my entire life. …But to get in trouble like that, and finally give people who’ve always wanted to say, ‘I told y’all, he’s this type of guy, or he’s a distraction’—for the first time in my life, I gave them room to say that. I did that. And it f—g destroyed me.”
-Green gets particularly deep at one point, saying, “every person is two people: the person that everyone sees, and the person inside.” He follows that up, later, with: “My mom used to always tell me: It’s not about beating the person in front of you, it’s about beating the person inside of you. Most people can’t beat that person.”
-Green’s mom lobs this doozy, in reference to the grief some fans give to her son: “Booing is just love in reverse.”
-On what motivates him: “I’ve seen so many people placed on this pedestal just to be stomped on: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Shaq, Mike. Yeah, everybody’s saying you’re the best thing ever and you’re expected to be great. But you’re only expected to be great, so you can fall short of that expectation and everybody got something to talk about. …That’s motivation for me.”
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