Twelve-year Warriors forward Draymond Green is too experienced of a player to hurt Golden State with suspensions, technical fouls and overstepping as a leader.
But TNT analyst Kenny Smith believes the four-time NBA champion hasn’t shown any motivation to change his ways, as he explained after the Warriors' loss to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.
“We all love Draymond, individually,” Smith told the "NBA on TNT" panel Tuesday night. “But we’re at a point where if you’re apologizing consistently, then you’re actually in the wrong. There are no more apologies. This is the third apology in the last seven, six months. ‘I hurt the team. I hurt the team.’ This is the third time we’ve heard, ‘I apologize to the team.’ "
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He just returned from a five-game suspension for placing Rudy Gobert in a headlock during a scuffle with the Minnesota Timberwolves two weeks ago, and Green also faced two separate one-game suspensions for exceeding the NBA’s technical foul limit and for stepping on Kings star Domantas Sabonis during the 2023 NBA playoffs, respectively.
And infamously, Green punched former Warriors guard Jordan Poole at practice last October.
Golden State Warriors
The 33-year-old often has cost the Warriors with his loud leadership and confidence, and Smith believes Green must tone it down a notch. On Tuesday, Green received a technical foul in the fourth quarter of Golden State's loss.
“He is too good a player and too seasoned a player to keep apologizing,” Smith emphasized on Tuesday. “At 22, 23, 24 years old, you can keep apologizing. But at this stage of his career, we should be out of the apology stages. He keeps crossing [the line]. He’s too good for the team. He’s too valuable. He puts everybody in their correct position.
“Being able to say, ‘Steph [Curry], you don’t have to handle it as much, [Jonathan] Kuminga, you don’t have to defend as much. [Kevon] Looney, you don’t have to rebound as much.’ It just puts everybody at ease that he’s not allowing to happen.”
Smith, like everybody else, knows what Green means to Golden State.
He also understands that Green’s five career suspensions have come at the some inconvenient times, costing the Warriors opportunities in the NBA Finals, the playoffs and the NBA In-Season tournament.
Golden State, who currently is 8-10 and 10th in the Western Conference standings, needs all the help it can get to make a push for an eighth NBA title this season.
Green’s ability to keep his composure is a great place to start getting back on track.