Draymond Green is never shy about sharing his opinions on the NBA’s biggest news.
Green took aim at NBA teams Monday night after the Golden State Warriors’ win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Green called out teams for their treatment of players after the Cavaliers elected to sit Andre Drummond while they try to find a trade partner for their starting center.
“I would like to talk about something that’s really bothering me, and it’s the treatment of players in this league,” Green said to open his postgame press conference. “To watch Andre Drummond, before the game, sit on the sidelines, then go to the back, and to come out in street clothes because a team is going to trade him, it’s (expletive).”
Green spoke uninterrupted for about three minutes and blasted teams for what he perceives as a double standard on trades.
“Because when James Harden asked for a trade and essentially dogged it … no one’s going to fight back that James was dogging it his last days in Houston,” Green said. “But he was castrated for wanting to go to a different team and everybody destroyed that man, and yet a team can come out and say, ‘Oh, we want to trade a guy,’ and then that guy has to go sit, and if he doesn’t stay professional then he’s a cancer, and he’s not good in someone’s locker room, and he’s the issue.”
ESPN reported Monday that Drummond will remain with the Cavaliers but won’t play while the team seeks a trade. Earlier in the day, the Detroit Pistons announced they were pursuing the same strategy with Blake Griffin. The Pistons said they plan to part ways with Griffin through a trade or buyout, with Griffin not playing until the situation is resolved.
“At some point, as players, we need to be treated with the same respect and have the same rights that the team can have,” Green said. “Because as a player, you’re the worst person in the world when you want a different situation. But a team can say they’re trading you. And that man is to stay in shape, he is to stay professional. And if not, his career is on the line. At some point, this league has to protect the players from embarrassment like that.”
Drummond, 27, is averaging 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in 25 games this season. Cleveland acquired the two-time All-Star from Detroit at last year’s trade deadline in February. This year’s deadline is March 25.
Drummond has not publicly requested a trade, which would merit a fine from the NBA. However, the Cavaliers have made it known his time in Cleveland is coming to an end, a double standard that doesn’t sit well with Green.
“As players, we’re told, ‘No, you can’t say that, you can’t say this.’ But teams can?” Green said. “It goes along the same lines of when everyone wants to say, ‘Ah 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, the players must be respected in these situations, and it’s ridiculous and I’m sick of seeing it.”