It’s gotten to the point where the Golden State Warriors might permanently deploy Jonathan Kuminga in Draymond Green’s place because the latter is no longer worth the headache. Not throwing any shade at Kuminga with that dig, but he’s only 21, and is far from guaranteed to be a future pillar of the franchise as Draymond has been for many a year on four different championship teams.
Draymond has such an awful history of dirty plays and general on-court misconduct that you could argue he has no business playing ever again. The fact that he’s serving an indefinite suspension is more evidence of that. The California man keeps getting away with assault in the public eye, but in all seriousness, NBAPA executive VP Joe Dumars’ comments from Thursday are telling about how far out of hand the situation has gotten:
“We wanted the focus to be on, how can we help Draymond as well? And we thought ‘indefinite’ was the best way to do that.
Indefinite means, get yourself right. We want to see you at your best. And the best way for you to do that is to get yourself mentally and emotionally back to where you need to be.”
When someone with such a key leadership position in the modern NBA, who once balled out for the legendary “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons teams who were notorious for their physicality, says what you’re doing is so f****d up that you need to take time away from the sport, you know you’re down bad.
Then there’s expert Twitter troll Kevin Durant, an ex-teammate of Draymond’s, whose personal relationship with him led to the nosedive of his career arc. It was a no-brainer for KD to stay with the Dubs. Draymond alienated him so much that he left. Nevertheless, they’ve mended fences in recent years to be on friendly terms.
Even KD, perhaps the most sensitive superstar of his era who will pop off at anyone on social media, is saying Draymond needs help:
I would empathize more with Draymond if he weren’t so unlikable.
When you literally punch someone in the face and try to say you didn’t intend to, despite a lengthy history that says otherwise, you lose the benefit of the doubt and any sympathy from me and millions of other onlookers.
So that whole bit I mentioned about Kuminga replacing Draymond? It’s not baseless at all. Shams is out here saying this, and Shams doesn’t just float things. He has Woj to keep up with. He can’t be tossing out reckless speculation. We’re talking about an S tier scooper in the sports industry.
While this doesn’t qualify as an official “report”, I found it very, very interesting:
"You have to make the best decision for the organization, and that means going with Jonathan Kuminga moving forward." @ShamsCharania
"Is there a world in which he keeps that spot even when Draymond [Green] comes back?" @MichelleDBeadle
Warriors coach Steve Kerr can’t have much more patience. He’s done a good job overall of reining Draymond in, or at least being a good-enough PR advocate to allow him to keep playing. If Golden State wasn’t so dynastic, I’m sure something like this would’ve happened to Draymond many moons ago.
Anyway, uh, I guess a dirty-playing athlete isn’t the most irredeemable scum we have in society, so maybe it’ll be good for Draymond to unpack whatever emotional baggage and immaturity that exists within him that leads to these childish outbursts. Given that he’s played this way for his entire Hall of Fame career, though, I doubt that at age 33, Draymond is all of a sudden going to morph into a totally different dude. At least when it comes to playing basketball.
As valuable as Draymond is defensively and as much as he’s accomplished, he’s doing incredible damage to his legacy right now. I would say, “You hate to see it”…but do you? Not sure I do.