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  • Jacob Koehler

Draymond Green Suspended Indefinitely

Over his 12 seasons with the Golden State Warriors, Draymond Green has been at the center of much controversy. He has seen plenty of success, but not without bumps in the road. The player has been a cornerstone during their 4 championship runs. His hustle, passion, and heart have undoubtedly been the reason he has flourished in the NBA. Unfortunately, far too often Green’s play strays from fiery to downright dirty. 

From crotch-kicks to floor stomps to headlocks, Draymond is infamous for his unnecessary acts. Against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, Draymond swung his arm around 180° to connect with the face of Jusuf Nurkić. Due to his most recent incident of violence on the court, Green received his 18th career ejection and faces his sixth career suspension (second of the season). This time, the suspension is indefinite. Green must meet criteria set by the NBA before a timeline is set on his return. 

Part of this criteria for Draymond to return to action is to seek counseling. The immediate response around the league is in support of this measure. Postgame, Kevin Durant expressed that he hopes for Draymond to get the help he needs. Draymond has always had his moments but dating back to the punch of Jordan Poole heard ‘round the world, his outbursts are becoming more frequent and extreme. In his podcast episodes following any controversial action, Draymond deflects, denies, and makes excuses for himself. Taking ownership and participating in counseling may be just what Draymond needs to turn the corner. 

At this stage in his career, it’s unlikely that Draymond will change the way he plays. It has brought him this far. He will remain the physical and vocal leader of his squad. What must be eliminated are the excessive actions that cross the line of physicality and recklessness. It’s clear that something needs to change for Draymond, as this may be the last chance he gets. 

In 15 games this season, Draymond is averaging 9.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists. Given the small sample size, Green is scoring at his best pace since 2017, but has slipped in all other statistics. The Warriors Big 3 is clearly not what it once was, with Klay Thompson also regressing in recent years. As the stars age, the window is shrinking for Draymond and his longtime teammates to earn a 5th ring.

Currently 11th in the Western Conference, The Warriors will be without an important piece of their roster for an extended time. While Draymond doesn’t put up the same stats as his four all-star campaigns, his impact on the court is irreplaceable. His absence will open up more minutes for young players such as Jonathan Kuminga and Trayce Jackson-Davis. The Warriors need a spark at this point in the season in order to stay in Playoff contention. 

Fresh off a 4-year $100 million extension, Green and the Warriors need to figure out their future. Both sides have shown a strong sense of loyalty, but the leash can only extend so far. Trading Green would pose issues as teams may be reluctant to take on the 33-year-old’s hefty contract, and his troubling tendencies.

Keeping Draymond on the court and out of trouble will be a major factor in the immediate and future success of The Warriors. How this suspension plays out will have a big impact on the remainder of the season. If Draymond can resolve his ongoing problems, The Warriors won’t be put away easily.

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