— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) September 12, 2017
Kyrie Irving made waves when he announced he wanted to be traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers, and now Draymond Green is the latest NBA star to chime in on the move.
Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green has always been a vocal player. When asked about the Kyrie Irving trade by the media during the unveiling of the Warriors new jerseys with a corporate sponsor, Rakuten, Green had plenty to say.
He spoke candidly about the situation and showed support for Irving’s decision because of the courage it took.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say it surprised me. I’d say more than anything just the respect level that I have for him. Like that’s tough to do, I don’t think you know, when people take into account that he put so much pressure on himself by doing that. But the willingness to do that knowing the pressure that comes with that and saying I’m ready to do it let’s do it, that’s what stood out to me more than anything.”
Indeed Irving did put pressure on himself by opting out of playing with the best player in the world and betting on himself to be “the guy” on another team. As Green also points out in the sound bite, Irving wasn’t a free agent and knew he could be traded anywhere but still chose to walk away from a guaranteed fourth-straight trip to the NBA Finals.
Although Irving is now a member of the Boston Celtics who are favored to face the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals, he didn’t know where he would end up when he decided to make the jump, which to Draymond was an admirable decision.
“He wasn’t a free agent so he could’ve got traded anywhere. But he’s pretty much saying I don’t care where I go I’m going to make it happen, that’s, I think that says a lot about who he is as a competitor, who, his character, that says a lot about him.”
And Draymond didn’t stop there. When asked about how LeBron James’ “decision” empowered players to make moves for themselves, Green said that James, “Opened up a new door for guys, he gave guys a voice.”
I’m sure LeBron is somewhat satisfied or feels proud of his overarching influence on the league but he’s also got to be a little annoyed when guys follow in his footsteps and he gets the short end of the stick.
Up until the season starts, and throughout the entire season, the Kyrie-requested trade will be the storyline of the year. Draymond wasn’t the first NBA player to comment on the move and he won’t be the last.