As a Boston sports fan, I have to admit: I love Draymond Green.
This is controversial, given that Green’s main role in the Golden State Warriors’ victory over the Boston Celtics in this year’s NBA Finals was to do his best to get the team under the skin. The truth is, he too needs his trolleys – and Green has spent his post-championship race confirming his status as an alpha mixer.
Most players would love to bask in the brilliance of a title win, but Green won’t be satisfied until he drinks the tears of his enemies. So, of course, he won’t let go of the Grizzliest hook in Memphis just because the Warriors turned them off more than a month ago. On March 28, Jaren Jackson of Jrizen Jackson’s Jr. Warriors, a member of the Grizzles team, chirped the phrase “strength in numbers” after winning the regular season.
Golden State guard Klay Thompson was the first to bring the tweet after the Warriors won their fourth championship in eight years last week, using a press conference to call Jackson a “crazy bastard.” Memphis and Morant indicated on Twitter that his team was still living in Warriors’ heads (which may be a good idea). This was a tactical mistake, as the Warriors quickly fired their not-so-secret weapon in the war of words: Green, who went to the scorched land for the young star of Grizzlies.
Here’s the problem for those who don’t like Green verbally dismantling a team the Warriors have already humiliated on the pitch: there’s no one who can tell him he hasn’t earned the right to say what he wants. With the latest Warriors title, he now has four rings as part of the core of a true NBA dynasty. He has been named a star player four times and was a defensive player of the year in 2017 (and probably deserved the honor in other years as well). Not a bad career for a relatively undersized power striker who was notoriously only selected in the second round of the 2012 draft.
Green is the basketball hoop, which is beyond a simple trash can. Garbage chat is, after all, an accepted and important part of the game: there is something about sport that requires players to constantly bully opponents, which has made personal insult a useful tool. Even gray players of fame like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett (possibly the most extreme trash talker in NBA history) had a reputation for being extremely unfriendly during the games.
However, most of these players were limited to the field, especially those who were trying to sell you shoes. The basketball court keeps your mouth open after the game, even after losses and especially after winning. In an essay given to GQ on the modern phenomenon of NBA heels, Nathaniel Friedman pinpointed the origins of today’s basketball streaker to Allen Iverson, who was disgusted by the NBA during his career but respected by younger generations, whose legacy changed. in one word: “practice”.
Iverson is perhaps the best example, but the 1990s. years there are others who fit. Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley were future comedians who have dedicated their entire post-game careers to dealing with the league, as Statler and Waldorf did on The Muppet Show. Even those who hated Rasheed Wallace in his NBA days find themselves repeating his slogan “the ball is not lying” when opponents are mistaken for free throws due to questionable whistles. The man, once known as Metta World Peace, trolled the city so successfully that it caused a complete revolt.
OK, this last example isn’t exactly positive, but heels bring chaos and even they can’t predict what’s to come. In ancient mythologies, the tricster archetype sometimes brings creative power and sometimes nothing but destruction. There is no denying that Green brought them both into play-offs, perhaps to an unequal extent.
As Andrew Lawrence, the head of the Guardian, wrote during a series against Grizzlies, “There has been a lot of controversy over who is the best remaining player in the NBA play-offs. But there is no doubt who is the most annoying. out to get thrown out, while making enough of the not-so-clean games that Celtics fans spent the entire 3rd game abusing him.
He finally laughed for the last time. After the Warriors closed Celtics with six games, Green went to Twitter (heel playground) to write the next one: “We are preparing for tonight’s game in 7… (lock emoticon) !!! Happy Father’s Day. “
It should have infuriated me both as a grieving Celtics fan and as a person who lost the opportunity to publish a live game blog for Game 7. However, all I could do was laugh. And then retweet him.
In an ideal world, each team would have a designated heel like Green to get ahead of the other team, initiate and hold quarrels, and provide the public with endless amounts of free entertainment. Like professional wrestling, with the exception of mostly scenario results (give or take Tim Donaghy or two), the NBA is a big entertainment centered on oversized personalities. That’s why the wrestling term “heel” has quickly worn out the basketball lexicon, and it’s certainly why we sports writers can’t stop using it to describe Green. Hell, he even has a custom WWE belt!
More than any of his peers, Green has earned the right to sting the rest of the league. If someone in the league wants to keep quiet about them, they will probably find him in next year’s playoffs.
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