Draymond Green and Steph Curry rarely are outshined on the court. Away from it though, their adorable kids take center stage.
Following a recent Warriors practice, Draymond Green was speaking to reporters at the podium. He paused.
“Where’s my kid? He ran off like 30 minutes ago,” Green noticed.
His son, Draymond Green Jr., nicknamed DJ, is an honorable tiny teammate for the Dubs. He passes and rebounds. He wanders over to Curry’s basket to watch him shoot. He’s in the locker room postgame.
“He loves coming to the gym,” Green said. “When I don’t bring him, he’s upset.”
Green’s son has been obsessed with basketball since infancy. Maybe four or five months old, Green noticed DJ’s eyes would stay locked on a basketball game. Now DJ is dribbling the NBA-sized ball one-handed. He turns five in December.
“He’d be sitting there, watching a game,” Green revealed. “He wouldn’t make a peep. To watch that love continue to grow for him, for him to want to be in the gym every day, it’s [a] special thing to share. It creates a different type of bond.”
DJ’s presence around the team is possible because coach Steve Kerr supports a family atmosphere.
“As some[one] who played, he understands that burden,” Green explained when it comes to missing holidays, birthdays, and bedtimes.
Kerr remembers other players whose kids had a presence with the team -- Zaza Pachulia’s boys, David West’s son, Curry’s son Canon -- and said there’s something beautiful about it.
“It makes everybody feel good,” Kerr admits. “It humanizes the whole process of what we’re doing. Sometimes there’s so much pressure, you gotta win, win, win. Then a kid like DJ walks in and you’re reminded what’s really important.”
DJ does not know Kerr’s first name. He calls him “Coach.”
“So cute,” Kerr said, beaming.
Much like DJ, three-year-old Canon is just starting his locker room adventures, already an integral part of a special Warriors moment. When Jonathan Kuminga made his NBA debut against the Thunder on Oct. 30, he earned the game ball. Canon was there to assist.
“I walked in with the ball,” Kerr said. “Canon ran over to me and grabs the ball out of my arms and says ‘Where’s the hoop?’ ”
Kerr made a circle with him arms, forming a rim for Canon. He shot the ball. Then Canon gave the game ball to Kuminga with everyone's encouragement.
“If family is included with everything, it feels more natural and fun,” Kerr said.
Green agrees. No matter what happens on the court, a hug from his children postgame is the real win.
“It’s incredible. That’s who you do it for,” Green said.