Draymond Green continues to troll the rest of the NBA.
Within a span of about two weeks, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has dismissed just about every great NBA defensive player that ever laced up a pair of sneakers, and now he’s gone on to diss every young player currently occupying a roster spot.
In an excerpt taken from his [Green] appearance on friend and former teammate Kevin Durant‘s “The ETCs” Podcast, Draymond first complimented today’s players and noted how the skill level of players today is as high as it’s ever been in the history of the league. Then, Green went into his bag and began to dole out jabs and haymakers like it was a heavyweight championship bout.
"“They soft as [expletive]. I’ve found myself trying to talk [expletive] to some of these young dudes that won’t talk. And they’re like trying to be a friend. That’s what these young dudes do nowadays. I don’t understand it.”"
Green isn’t wrong in the theory of what he’s expressing. In terms of grit and toughness, the league is immensely different from 15 years ago, let alone 25 years ago. The days of ‘goons’ and ‘enforcers’ have long gone by the wayside. In 2021, you will only find a handful of teams who keep that tough-guy type of player on the roster.
A player whose only purpose is to either look out for the stars on the team or be a bruiser inside, defend, rebound, and commit hard fouls to keep other teams out of the paint. Players have to be able to contribute something offensively in the league today. Even if nothing more than being the pick-n-roll partner for the star player. Similar to Green and Stephen Curry on the Warriors.
Green may be the last of this breed of player and had he not been drafted into what has turned out to be the perfect situation for a player of his caliber, we might not look at his career in the same manner that we currently do. Green is, without a doubt a future Hall of Famer because of how important he was to the Warriors’ five-year dynasty run.
Imagine if the Sacramento Kings or New York Knicks had drafter Green in 2012. Forget the Hall of Fame, he might already be on his way out of the league as a non-scoring threat, 6-foot-6 power forward/center.
Due to the emphasis on shooting, and more importantly, 3-point shooting over the last decade, the once-heralded ‘enforcer’ of the 80s and 90s, no longer has a place in today’s NBA. There aren’t many players today that bring what Green brings to the table, without also being able to get buckets at will. Green has an extremely high hoops IQ which has also helped him stick around for nearly a decade.
Draymond is a bit of a throwback because he is willing to attempt to get into his opponent’s head and trash talk on the court. Which is the main gripe he [Green] has with the younger generation of hoopers coming up. Trash talk has always had a place in the game of basketball and not just on the professional level. You can find trash talk on hoop courts around America on all levels, or at least you used to back in the day.
One of the biggest culprits of what Green is talking about is his friend and business partner LeBron “King” James. James has long been criticized by the ‘old heads’ of the NBA for helping to usher in this generation of friendliness among competitors. Whether you’re for or against this new generation it doesn’t affect the product on the court.
So, don’t expect this handshake and bro-hug culture of the NBA to let up anytime soon. Now that doesn’t mean you still won’t see a little trash-talking on an NBA court from time to time. Just look at Patrick Beverly and Damian Lillard in the NBA’s restart Bubble in 2020. It doesn’t happen that often anymore, but it does still happen. The NBA just doesn’t have any elite trash talkers these days. Names like Gary Payton, Kevin Garnett, Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, and Larry Bird come to mind from generations past.
The bottom line is that it’s a new day in the game of basketball, and players like Draymond Green are going to become even rarer as the league continues to evolve. Within the next 10 years, there likely won’t be any more players like Green. Players who love to get a rise out of opponents by flapping their gums as opposed to letting their skill set do the talking for them.