Last year, Draymond Green’s emotions got the best of him when he deliberately hit LeBron James in the groin area in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
As a result, he was suspended for Game 5 of the series and watched as his team dropped that game and the next two to blow a 3-1 lead, thus becoming the laughingstock of social media for the entire offseason. In many ways, his actions might have cost his team not only Game 5, but the Finals as a whole, as the momentum completely shifted at the news of his suspension.
Therefore, with his Warriors up 2-0 in this year’s NBA Finals after a dominant 132-113 victory on Sunday night, Green vowed that he won’t make the same mistake twice.
"Going over the edge isn't going to win me a championship," Green told reporters after recording 12 points, six rebounds and six assists in the win, via ESPN’s Baxter Holmes. "I think I'm a pretty smart guy and I learned my lesson. I went over the edge before. Fool me once; you can't fool me twice.”
But, that didn’t mean that Green appreciated being asked that question.
"You act like I'm just this troubled guy who's been in a bunch of trouble and can't control myself," Green said. "Jesus Christ.” Check out the exchange he had with the reporter below:
When asked how he’s been able to avoid crossing the line in the very emotional series, Green responded, “I just been playing basketball, brother. And when you got great teammates like I do, who allow me to play with my emotions and allow me to be emotional when I'm talking to them, to use my emotions to the better for us, it's easy.”
Further, “So just really trying to lead this team as much as I can in the ways that I do for this team. Not worrying about the officials and all that. I think at the end of the day, I think everyone talks to officials. I talk to them.”
Therefore, while Green will remain one of the most outspoken players both on and off the court, he plans on exhibiting a great deal of restraint and it’s safe to say that he will do his best to avoid a situation like last year.
In addition to his versatile skill set, Green's most valuable attribute is his energy, which he brings with him whenever he's on the court. Being able to harness that energy while still utilizing it for the betterment of his team is a balancing act that he has to figure out for the rest of this series and moving forward in his career.