Why Draymond's NBA criticism 'landed home' with Steph

Draymond Green and Steph Curry

Steph Curry wasn't surprised that Draymond Green's passionate criticism of what he saw as the NBA's double standard for players and teams seeking trades resonated with so many of their peers around the league.

Curry told reporters Tuesday in a video conference that the spread of his Warriors teammate's comments indicated it was a conversation worth having. Green added that teams and media don't give much consideration to the mental-health effects of being placed on the trading block, let alone playing in the league, and Curry said this observation stuck out most to him.

"I think that landed home heavier than all the rest of the points for sure, just in terms of they kind of brush that under the rug," Curry said Tuesday. "If the business goes in the direction that's not in a player's favor and, just because you get paid a bunch of money and just because you have the security and all this stuff, you're supposed to be able to take it on the fly, take it on the chin and keep it moving. That may be a part of the business, but you have to make sure we are sensitive to the mental health and the overall health of players across the board."

Green said Monday after Golden State's win that it was "bulls--t" the Cleveland Cavaliers sat Andre Drummond and faced less criticism in his eyes than James Harden, who Green said was "castrated" for demanding a trade from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets earlier this season.


It didn't sit well with Green, either, that Kyrie Irving was criticized last month for missing seven straight games when he "just needed a pause," citing his mental health.

“Do you not think that affects someone mentally?" Green asked Monday in a postgame conference call with reporters. "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, players must be respected in these situations."

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Curry said he wanted critics of Drummond, Irving, Green and professional athletes to understand they're all human beings. Although the NBA's average salary is just shy of $3.9 million, Curry said Tuesday that doesn't inoculate players from the pressures associated with the job, or the nature of a business that doesn't grant most players true freedom of movement -- or, "unrestricted free agency," in the NBA's parlance -- until after they've signed their second contracts.

"It's not all just easy street when you're at this level," Curry continued. "It is great to get paid what we do, and it is great to be on this stage and have all this attention, but it goes both ways."

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