Draymond Green was in no mood to waste a second of time. After taking a seat and replying to one question related to the Warriors' 129-98 crushing of the Cavaliers on Monday night, he cleared his throat and let go a rant that was timely and unflinching in its honesty.
“I would like to talk about something that's really bothering me,” he begins. “It’s the treatment of players in this league.”
Uh-oh. Because this is Draymond, and we know Draymond, we all realize what’s coming will be provocative and probably illuminating. There will be blood and bruises in his wake.
“To watch (Cavaliers center) Andre Drummond before the game sit on the sideline and go to the back and come out in street clothes, because a team is going to trade him, is bull---t,” Green says.
“Because when James Harden asked for a trade and essentially dogged it – I don't think there was no surprise; no one is going to fight the fact that James was dogging it his last days in Houston – but he was castrated for wanting to go to a different team. Everybody destroyed that man.
“And yet a team can come out and say, ‘We want to trade a guy,’ and then that guy is to go sit. And if he doesn't stay professional, then he's a cancer. And he's not good in someone's locker room. And he's the issue.”
It is now clear that Draymond is torqued about the double standard exists among many fans and media is it relates to the player-management dynamic in professional sports. Players generally get savaged as Harden was, for voicing their desires, while management tends to get a pass.
Drummond spent Monday night on the Cleveland bench because management plans to trade him. Green did not miss the moment to point out the hypocrisy that exists.
“And we've seen situations . . . Harrison Barnes getting pulled off the bench, or DeMarcus Cousins finding out that he's traded in an interview after the All-Star Game. And we continue to let this happen.
“But I got fined for stating my opinion and what I thought should happen with another player. But teams can come out and continue to say, ‘Oh we're trading guys. We're not playing you.’ And yet we're to stay professional.
“At some point, as players, we need to be treated with the same respect and have the same rights that the team can have. Because as a player, you’re the worst person in the world when you want a different situation. But a team can say they're trading you and that man is to stay in shape. He is to stay professional. And if not, his career is on the line.
“At some point, this league has to protect the players from embarrassment like that.” Green’s message is clear. It’s distinct. There is considerable validity to it.
And he’s still delivering.
“We talk all this stuff about ‘You can't do this. You can't say that publicly. If you say that publicly . . . Anthony Davis got fined, I think $100,000 (actually $50,000) for demanding a trade publicly,” Green says. “But you can say Andre Drummond's getting traded publicly, and we're looking to trade him publicly. And he's to stay professional? And just deal with it?
“But then when Kyrie Irving says, ‘My mental health is off,’ everybody goes crazy about that, too. Do you not think that affect someone mentally? As much as we put into this game, to be great? To come out here and be in shape, to produce for fans every single night and, most importantly, to help your team win? Do you think that doesn't affect someone mentally?
“But as players, we’re told, ‘You can't say that? You can't say this? But teams can? It goes along the same lines of when everyone wants to say, ‘Oh, man, that young guy can't figure it out.’ But no one wants to say the organization can't figure it out.
“At some point to players must be respected in these situations. And it’s ridiculous and I’m sick of seeing it. Y’all have a great night and I’ll see y’all tomorrow or Wednesday.”
Message delivered, hard and fast and furious. Now Draymond will wait.
The NBA will have a reply. It might ask for a piece of his bank account. What it won’t do, can’t do, is say he is wrong.