Something wasn’t sitting right with Draymond Green after the Warriors’ win over the Cavaliers on Monday night.
The Warriors picked up the win without having to face Cavs center Andre Drummond. Cleveland benched Drummond as the team looks to find a trade partner for him. But rather than have him play in this time, the team believed, per ESPN’s sources, “it’s unfair to Drummond to limit his minutes as the organization transitions to Jarrett Allen.”
Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff discussed the decision Monday.
“Sometimes you’re forced into difficult positions that’s not easy to navigate, but in respect to Dre and all that he’s done and accomplished and as much as he’s helped us, we thought this was the fairest thing to do for him,” Bickerstaff said.
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The Cavs’ decision to bench Drummond as they aim to trade him frustrated Green, who spoke openly about it during his postgame press conference.
“Everyone wants to say, ‘that young man can’t figure it out.’ But no one wants to say the organization can’t figure it out.”
Draymond Green sounds off on a double standard he sees in the NBA. pic.twitter.com/z6R4zq0Bcw
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 16, 2021
“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 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 bulls—.
“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, but he was castrated for wanting to go to a different team. 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.”
Green isn’t the first to talk about the double standard, not only in the NBA, but in sports in general. Nearly every time a player requests a trade, there is criticism from fans and sports analysts, berating the player for simply wanting to find a better situation. But when teams want to move players around, then it’s “just business.”
The Warriors star continued with his thoughts on the double standard.
“And we’re seeing situations of Harrison Barnes getting pulled off the bench,” Green said. “Or DeMarcus Cousins finding out he’s traded in an interview after the All-Star Game, and we continue to let this happen. But I got fined for stating my opinion on what I thought should happen with another player, but teams can come out and continue to say, ‘Oh, we’re trading guys, we’re not playing you.’ And yet we’re to stay professional.
“At some point, as players, we need to be treated with the same respect. And have the same rights that the team can have. 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.”
Green brought up a few other examples, such as when Anthony Davis was fined after agent Rich Paul publicly requested a trade (Green says $100,000 but it was actually $50,000). He also brought up Kyrie Irving’s absence earlier in the season.
“We talk all of this stuff about: ‘You can’t do this, you can’t say this publicly,'” Green said. “If you say that publicly … Anthony Davis got fined I think $100,000 dollars or something like that for demanding a trade, but you can say Andre Drummond’s getting traded publicly and we’re looking to trade him publicly, and he’s to stay professional and just deal with it?
“And then when Kyrie Irving says, ‘Oh, my mental health is off,’ everybody go crazy about that too. Do you not think that affects someone mentally? As much as we put into this game to be great, to come out here and be in shape, to produce for fans every single night, and most importantly, to help your team win, do you think that doesn’t affect someone mentally?”
Green’s comments were met with mostly positive comments from other NBA players, active and former, on social media.
It’s a lot of TRUTH to this…because once you get labeled a “CANCER” in the league especially if you a role player it’s hard to come back from that and your chances on staying on a NBA roster are slim to none! GMs talk daily and that’s the first question they ask about players! https://t.co/YrrgABxneI
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) February 16, 2021
Green closed out with some final thoughts.
“As players, we’re told to, ‘Ah, no, you can’t say that, you can’t say this,'” Green said. “But teams can? 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. Y’all have a great night. I’ll see y’all [Tuesday] or Wednesday.”