As arguably one of the most notorious players in the 2016 postseason, Draymond Green has certainly made a sizeable splash. It’s only fair that we give him a player profile. After all, he’s young at only 26, one of the best defenders in the league, and already has a national championship. Draymond was anointed an All-Star after the Warriors got their 2015 championship and has been making a huge difference in the 2016 Finals.
Draymond Green was born in Saginaw, Michigan, and would go on to play college basketball at Michigan State. During his college tenure, he led the Michigan State Spartans to two Final Four appearances and a Big Ten Tournament Championship in 2012. He stayed at Michigan State for a full four years, rather unusual for an NBA prospect looking at a million-dollar contract and instant fame.
Green was drafted 35th overall in the 2012 NBA draft by his current team, the Golden State Warriors, and has proven his worth during the season as he helped the Warriors get to the all-time record of 73 wins. In this postseason he has played a critical role in locking down superstar talent like LeBron James.
Green is leading an emerging trend of versatile frontcourt players that can play in a number of positions. This is no easy task – just because you can hop into the shoes of a center does not mean you have the chops to post up against the likes of Tim Duncan and company. Green has been able to do this pretty well and is capable of making plays for his teammates (an incredibly lucrative skill when you’ve got the best shooter in the league on your team) and spacing the floor out.
His 2014-2015 season was what catapulted Green into the highlight reels and conversations about the greatest players in the NBA. In Game 6 of the 2015 Finals, he filled in at the center position for Andrew Bogut and became just the sixth player in NBA history to hit a triple-double in a championship-winning game.
The list now reads Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, James Worthy, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, and now Draymond Green. That’s pretty damn good company for Draymond. On July 9th, 2015, the Warriors immediately made moves to keep Green on their roster (or perhaps they didn’t want to risk injuring their players if they ever had to play him on another team) and signed him to a five-year, $82 million contract. He joined the likes of WIlt Chamberlain after getting back-to-back triple doubles during the regular season.
Players and fans of other teams can best describe Green as incredibly annoying on the court. He always seems to be implicated in some sort of situation on the court that has to be reviewed by NBA officials for days on end. The aggressive star got his first flagrant foul point after throwing Houston’s Michael Beasley to the floor in Game 3 of the first round of the playoffs.
Most casual observers remember him from the brutal series of kicks to the balls of Stephen Adams in the Western Conference Finals, leading all men everywhere to grimace slightly. He would get a flagrant 2 and a whopping fine of $25,000. His most current issue has ended up in a suspension for Game 5 for retaliating against LeBron after getting stepped over. He was hit with a flagrant 1 for that incident. Green’s Game 5 absence preceded LeBron dropping over 40 points and keeping the Cavaliers’ head above water in a must-win situation.
With 4 flagrant fouls, Green is treading on thin ice. We saw how the series can go without him: LeBron James runs wild. If Green gets another flagrant foul in Game 6, he will be out for the Game 7 decider.
The tides could turn very quickly in this series – and it somewhat comically comes down to Draymond Green’s ability to keep his temper.