Draymond Green

USA Today

Big Draymond House

My man is Jocko Willink, Tony Robbins and Ryan Holiday all rolled into one.

June 05, 2019 - 11:54 am

We did it! We did it! After what felt like a week off, Game 3 of the Finals is tonight. We finally made it. But a number of the Golden State Warriors did not. Kevon Looney is officially out. Kevin Durant is officially out. And Klay Thompson is officially questionable.

He practiced yesterday and told the media repeatedly that he wants to play, saying that even if he’s 80 percent, he can help. But he also said: “If there’s any pain, it will be a no-go, just because of the position we’re in. This could be a longer series, so there’s no point in trying to go out there and re-aggravate it and potentially keep myself out of the whole Finals instead of just one game.”

In other words, if Game 7 was tonight, he’d be out there. But they might not send him out there because there could eventually be a Game 7. And it’s not worth the risk if tweaking it tonight misses he’ll miss even more time.  

So what does that all mean? The threat of the Return of the Box and One that shut the Warriors down late in Game 2. But Draymond Green told Allie laforce, that if that zone does come back, “I plan on dicing it up if they throw it out there again.”

Draymond is already doing so much, but they are going to need him to dice it up if the box and one does return. And they’re going to continue to need him playing that elite defense. And getting on the boards. Essentially doing everything he’s been doing at a world class level…; and then even more. And he can. He’s been playing at a completely different level for weeks now. 

And they have been a completely different team since he flipped the switch. So, how did he do it? What changed? He dropped some excess weight and dropped the arguing with the refs. And while there has been a lot of talk about that diet, and cutting out Snickers, Cheetos, wine and tequila, I could listen to him talk about it for hours. The Warriors can’t get enough of what he’s doing now, and I can’t get enough of him explaining how he’s doing it.

As he told Ramona Shelburne, it all started with a conversation with Bob Myers. The team’s GM told him he was out of shape and Draymond agreed, and then Draymond did what everyone does when they think about a diet …he said.– I’ll start it later:

"Bob said, 'If we're going to win a championship, you have to get in shape.’ I was like, 'Oh, I know. I'm fat as hell right now. Give me two weeks. It will probably take 10 days, but give me two weeks for sure and I’ll be good. My birthday is March 4, so I want to enjoy my birthday, but right after, on March 10, my diet starts.'"

I’m not sure what’s better – saying “Oh, I know, I’m fat as hell right now.” Or saying, “My birthday is March 4, so I want to enjoy my birthday, but right after, on March 10, my diet starts.” I’m fat as hell right now, but my birthday is coming up, so give me another week to get even fatter: don’t be wrecking my birthday, yo….then after I add five more, THEN;  I’ll get  after it.

But instead of doing what 99.9 percent of the world does in that situation, kicking the can down the road a week and then continuing to put it off, and just repeating, “the diet starts this Monday,” or I’ll try again tomorrow, when tomorrow never comes…Draymond actually did it. And he’s a different guy, both physically and mentally because of it.

"When I went on this diet, it's like a sense of control, and it's confidence because you feel like you're conquering something. You're defeating something every day. Having that control, it carries over to other areas in your life. We all love to eat. We all enjoy the things that we enjoy. If I can conquer that and not do that, why can't I conquer my emotions, too? Well, maybe I can bleeping conquer my emotions! Maybe I can conquer anything else! And so I think honestly that has really helped put me in a different state."

Holy crap. I knew he was the best defensive player of his generation. And I knew he was an incredible quote, but when did he turn into a motivational speaker? My man is Jocko Willink, Tony Robbins and Ryan Holiday all rolled into one. 

As soon as the Finals are over, he could be out there making six figures a night on the speaking circuit. Do you know how much people would throw down to show up in hotel ballrooms to hear that kind of fire?

And there’s more: "It's all about, 'Is [the fire] working for me or is it working against me?' When I'm channeling it to work for me, I think I'm one of the baddest motherbleepers on the planet. When it gets the best of me, I'm not so good."

Are you listening? Are you taking this down? Because you should. Forget Philip, Draymond is the new Zen Master.

Because we are talking about a 3-time NBA champion, a 3-time All-Star, an Olympic gold medalist, a defensive player of the year, a future Hall of Famer – whatever there is to do in basketball, he’s done it. And when he was losing his temper, he could’ve easily told everyone to bleep off. He could’ve easily said, my way works, just look at my trophy shelf.

But he didn’t. He looked in the mirror. He went to school on himself. And he even went to school on the moment earlier this season where he blew up at Durant during the Clippers game. And he owned it.

As Bob Myers told Ramona: "It shows a lot for him to be able to acknowledge and say, 'Yeah, Kevin's right in that comment.’”

That took a ton. And that’s probably why they are where they are right now. That’s why this season didn’t completely implode at that point. 

That doesn't mean he's perfect now, and never getting another technical again, just that he's working on it and getting better. 

This is a guy who’s been working on that fire for a while, getting the right balance between using it and being consumed by it. As Michigan State assistant coach Dwayne Stephens says, that was something Tom Izzo’s staff knew all about and there was a drastic step that they would sometimes take: contacting Draymond’s mom, the legendary Mary Babers-Green.

"When we thought he was going to have one of those moments where he needed to be reeled back, she'd drive up [from Saginaw, Michigan, to East Lansing]. We'd sit out in the conference room and she'd say, 'Listen, this is what they need you to do. Stop acting like a so-and-so.' He'd always come out of it. By the time she left, everybody was on the same page."

That is awesome on so many levels. And I’ll be honest, I love that of Draymond’s mom sitting him down in a conference room and saying, stop acting like a so-and-so, and then he turns it around. 

And earlier this year, Draymond’s mom and his fiancée played a huge role in turning him around again. According to Stephens: "They kind of sat him down like, 'Listen, you gotta chill out.’ He was watching his son [Draymond Jr.] Shoot on the hoop and he's flopping and he's like, 'Oh man. Is that what I look like? I had no idea how much energy I was wasting arguing calls and doing all of that crazy stuff.'”

That is awesome.  I get Draymond is a polarizing dude: I get that a lot of you really don’t like him. I just don’t care. I love the guy. I can’t get enough of this guy; and his approach; and his fire. Can’t get enough of this guy owning that he was fat as hell, but dropping all that weight mid-season so he could return to being one of the baddest motherbleepers on the planet. He is that, and they are not where they are without him. People always talk about how hard it is to reinvent yourself: this dude did it, on the fly, midseason, and it’s the biggest reason why they’re looking to rip another ring. He’s right, he is a bad, bad motherbleeper.

This always has been and always will be a big, big Draymond house.