Draymond Green Spoiled His Image Rehab Piece By Hitting a Guy Before ESPN Could Hit Publish

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns
Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Draymond Green has been suspended indefinitely by the NBA after he hit Jusuf Nurkić with a spinning backfist during the Golden State Warriors' game against the Phoenix Suns. Green's latest incident occurred just six games after he returned from his last suspension for doing something violent on a basketball court. It also happened right before ESPN was set to publish a story by Ramona Shelburne about how Green wasn't going to hurt his team again. Updated to mention the newer, longer suspension, ESPN published the piece on Thursday and boy are there some great quotes in there from Green.

Had Green not punched an opponent this week, Shelburne's piece would have been your standard image rehab story. Shelburne spoke with Green as he returned to the court as defiant and delusional as ever about how his actions affected his team and how he knew he needed to control himself, but that was no big deal because he's Draymond Green.

"You don't become what I've become if you can't control your emotions," Green told Shelburne, somehow completely unaware that the NBA has rarely if ever has actually asked him to control his emotions. Green gets more latitude than maybe any player in the history of basketball when it comes to losing his mind on the basketball court. He gets to scream and cry and carry on like no one else in the league.

Literally the only thing the NBA has ever asked him to do was not hit, choke or stomp on opponents during games. He punched a teammate in the face during training camp and faced zero consequences from the league or his team. Hell, they even let him kick opponents for a while. Just don't hit people during games. That's all they ever asked of him. And he can't do it. He refuses to do it. Refuses.

And the league doesn't even get to say they're putting their foot down. Nope. Draymond worked with the league to come up with the suspension. It doesn't matter if that's bullshit. It's the story that the Warriors have put out there as they understandably continue to do PR for the guy who helped bring them four championships.

Yeah, Draymond kicked, punched, stomped and choked people on live television until the league had no choice but to suspend him indefinitely, but he also helped come up with the punishment like he's Meadow Soprano.

How can you take him seriously when he gave this quote to Shelburne LAST WEEK. Via ESPN:

"When I'm not on the floor, it hurts my team," Green said. "So for me, it's going to be more about, 'What do you have to do as a leader to save this team? You got to put your ego aside. You got to put your pride aside. You got to put, even, in a sense, you as a human being aside."

You have to put being a human being aside. What in the hell does that even mean?? Stop hitting people! Green is a 33-year-old professional basketball player who has been asking people to believe that he has no control over his limbs for about a decade now. But that's what the Warriors have to put up. And they understand that. Which is why Stephen Curry wasn't asking Green to change as long as he stayed on the court. Ha. Via ESPN:

"Steph just said to me, 'Listen, you're going to do what you do because that's your role. But we need your performance,'" Green recalled. "'But I'm not going to tell you how to be you because I can't do that. I'm not going to tell you to change. Only going to tell you, whatever you have to do, we need you on the court. I need you on the court.'

Obviously, Green took that conversation to heart as he was comfortable sharing it with Shelburne for his rehab piece. Not only did he understand the consequences of his actions, he spoke with his incredibly important teammate about it and retained enough of the conversation that he then relayed it to a reporter. And then he went out and hit a guy in the head a few days later proving everything he said was completely bullshit. Not that this will stop a similar profile from some other high profile scribe in a couple months once he's proven to the NBA that he's changed his ways and understands.

Then one of two things will happen. Green will have gotten the help he needed and will miraculously stop hitting people. Or he'll say things are different and then somebody will get smacked. In that case, I can't wait to see what punishment he helps the league come up with for himself.