So you probably read the headline and thought “why would I strive to be MORE like someone who kicks a lot of fellow NBA players right in the balls?”
That’s certainly a valid question. Draymond has flaws. He’s fiery to a fault. He’s an overwhelmingly dirty player. He’s obnoxious. And, well, he kicks people in the balls.
But, for everything that’s wrong with Draymond, we should all strive to have a bit more Draymond in us. He plays, lives, and acts with the a chip on his shoulder unlike anyone I’ve ever seen.
When the Warriors won the 2015 NBA Title, he jumped among photographers, reporters, teammates, and confetti pointing at his mom in the crowd saying “Ma! They told me I couldn’t play in this league, Ma!”
I promise, at the NBA combine a few years ago, Draymond was scoffed at. He wasn’t tall enough to be a 4, and he couldn’t shoot or handle the rock well enough to be a 3. He was a classic tweener, and it’s part of the reason he stayed at Michigan State for four years. That talk ignited a fire within Green that burned and burned and burned until he was hoisting a championship trophy as debatably the greatest glue guy ever.
Now, three years into the Warriors run of pure greatness, Draymond’s role no longer goes unnoticed. Most consider him at least a top-20 player in the league and he falls no lower than third in DPOY voting (behind Kawhi and Gobert?), and he’s got a great shot to win that award. His defensive prowess doesn’t fly under the radar anymore. Thanks to Twitter, we get to see highlights of Draymond guarding all 5 Portland Trail Blazers on a singular play. On offense, he’s anything but a liability from the 3-point line – you simply can’t leave him open out there, or he’ll make you pay. In last year’s Game 7, despite the Warriors defeat, he single-handedly kept Golden State afloat offensively with a first half three-point barrage.
Speaking of the 2016 finals, LeBron haters often point toward Draymond’s Game 5 suspension as the sole reason LeBron was able to steal the Finals from the Warriors’ clutches. That speaks volumes as to what Draymond means to not only his team, but the entirety of NBA history. His suspension, even though it lasted only one game, is enough to alter some fans’ perception of LeBron…. that’s insane.
In the last three years, Draymond has transitioned from unsung hero to obnoxious loud mouth. One of those guys you either LOVE or you HATE. Most of the country (save the Bay Area) HATES Draymond. But, we only hate him because he’s not ours. He’s Golden State’s.
You would love a friend like Draymond. A fiery, obnoxious dude that would have your back in any fight ever, even if you’re trying to argue Hedo Turkoglu was a better shooter than Ray Allen. Draymond’s got your back.
He simply doesn’t care what other people think. Seemingly unprompted earlier this week, Draymond told the media that he thinks Kelly Olynyk is a dirty player. Considering Draymond Green has a brain, he knew this was going to stir up the snide “oh, really? Draymond? You’re gonna talk about someone else being a dirty player?” remarks.
He knew that was coming, but here’s the thing: Draymond doesn’t care what you think. He didn’t at Michigan State. He didn’t at the draft combine. He didn’t when he slipped to the second round. And he certainly didn’t when he raised his Championship trophy after Game 6 in 2015.
I’m not saying we should all turn into obnoxious, loud-mouth trash talkers in our everyday lives. But, Draymond is great in small doses, and we could all benefit from every once in a while, just thinking “You know, what would Draymond do?”
Because I promise you, Draymond doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.