Draymond Green

Dray explains competitive mindset vs. ‘big brother' LeBron

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Draymond Green recently shared his open and honest thoughts on his friendship with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.

On the latest episode of the "Podcast P with Paul George," Green revealed how his mindset has changed over time, including how that eventually parlayed into a friendship with James.

"Well, I think No. 1, when you step on the court, there is no friends," Green explained to George. "Here's what I will say: As I've gotten older in my career, I don't just go out on the court with the 'I hate you' mindset.

"And I used to go out with the 'I hate you' mindset to everybody and not be able to separate the two."

Green added that as he's matured, he's become more relaxed and understands that his previous mindset, though it helped fuel him as a player, ruined relationships he had with some players and said that it "didn't feel good either."

Now 33 years old, Green better understands that what happens on the basketball court should stay on the court. There is a line that he has learned not to cross, which has helped him foster a relationship with James.

"As far as us being as tight as we are, like that's my big brother, love him to death," Green said. "And ain't nothing changing that -- the only thing changing that is our relationship continues to grow.

"And it is what it is."

Green knows his answer will displease fans, so he provided an example of best friends working at rival tech companies or rival food establishments. Those friends are OK with each other working at rival companies but because his and James' friendship is broadcast to the world, all of a sudden it becomes an issue.

"What I'm here to tell people is you probably shouldn't concern yourself with that because there's nothing you can do about it and it doesn't affect your life," Green proclaimed. "Even if I go out and lose this game, it don't affect your life, unless you decided to put money on it and that's your issue. And even if I go win this game, it doesn't really affect your life.

"So you probably shouldn't invest your time in wondering about our relationship."

Despite having a tight relationship with James, Green said that he is still very competitive when facing the four-time NBA champion.

"How I separate the two though is like at the end of the day, I'm trying to win these basketball games and I'm trying to win these championships," Green continued. "And if you stand in the way of that ... we're going to battle and I'll take your head off and, to this day, I'll take 'Bron's head off, no problem, when we're on the court."

Even though both are competing to win titles, there is a deeper connection between the two veterans.

"But like, there is a respect and a love that's there that no basketball is going to change, no game is going to change, no series is going to change," Green told George. "That love and that respect and that brotherhood is there.

"Ain't none of this changing that. And if you wanted to or if you hoped it will or you think it does, I'm sorry but I'm not sorry. None of these things are changing that."

Green knows that the relationship he's cultivated with James will last longer than their playing days, and that is why he is separating what happens on the court and off it.

"If you think that I'm going to go back to that and take that same disrespect and disrespect my brother, I'm sorry I can't," Green shared.

After being very aggressive against James early in his career, Green's attitude toward him noticeably changed as time has gone on. So much so that Green wanted to miss a Warriors road trip to watch James break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time NBA scoring record in Los Angeles.

RELATED: Why Draymond's four-year, $100M contract is win for Warriors, fans

As the two champions enter the twilight of their respective careers, they both know their battles soon will come to an end.

And with Green more mature, he knows the relationships he made on the court will pay dividends off the court once he decides to hang up his sneakers.

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