Should we be worried about Draymond Green?
When news reports first surfaced that Draymond Green was apparently bragging about going 118 miles per hour on a crowded Bay Area freeway, I initially thought not much of it. It seemed like one of those funny stories that reminds us that Draymond is a brash young man like many of us were in our 20s. I remembered that I once topped my BMW out at 105 mph on the I-5 interstate freeway just to say that I could.
But it isn't just a funny story.
I had a personal experience several years ago in which a drag-racing teen clipped my bumper while trying to pass between two cars where there wasn't any room. My car spun a 360 at freeway speed and then careened helplessly out of control across two freeway lanes. My kids almost became orphans that very moment. As fortune was smiling, I landed with a thud in a soft grassy shoulder area rather than the nearby cement pillar. Nobody was seriously hurt that day, but for all I know that other driver could have been teenage Draymond Green. That punk was going nearly as fast as Draymond according to police estimates when they arrested him.
So it's not funny that Draymond Green may have endangered many people on the freeway -- moms and dads with kids, babies in back seats, and young adults with mothers at home who love their kids just as much as "Mama Green" purports to love her own son. Draymond has since apologized, although the apology itself raises more questions that it answers about his self-awareness and maturity as a human being. Green said,
"[I used] obviously, poor judgment. But I think it's kind of out-of-story of what it's trying to be made out to be. I'm not here to take any attention away from this team."
In other words, Draymond seems to be apologizing for posting a video that exposed his reckless driving, but not actually sorry for his outrageous behavior. Like a dime store jewel thief, he appears to be sorry only because he was caught.
As a Warriors fan I am selfishly becoming concerned for Draymond Green the person. Green appears to live life exactly the way he plays basketball. He plays hoops right on the edge, strutting his stuff with acerbic 'tude while us fans experience the unfolding of each technical foul with the same admiration and discomfort as theater fans might both love and dread the unfolding of Hamlet's final act. Because of his enormous talent -- a talent famously driven by ferocious passion -- we accept the good with the bad. We love blue-collar working-man Draymond Green. After all, we've often heard said, Draymond might be a jerk but he is our jerk.
But if life were a basketball game, Draymond would have a double-tee ejection already for his antics off the court. That should be concerning to all of us.
We've had hints here and there that Green might be a hard partier, such as his birthday roadie this year and uncomfortable appearance at the victory parade in Oakland last summer. He appears from the outside to indeed live life in the fast lane. But for young celebrities who are suddenly thrust into money, living on the edge frequently ends badly. I don't want to wake up one morning to read that Draymond Green is in a hospital for an overdose or for a serious injury, or that he was just bailed out of jail. Would such an event truly surprise us?
I'm glad to hear that Bob Myers has already talked with Green about his latest behavior. I hope that Warriors ownership does as well, and I hope that the conversation is larger than just this driving incident. Draymond Green is too important to the Warriors to watch his life self-destruct before us. The Warriors obviously need his superstar talents on the court. They need those talents for the long-term. Does Green need better mentors in his life?
We want to hope that Draymond Green's brash act was just the one-time silly occurrence of an immature young man. But the fact that he thought it would be perfectly fine to post the SnapChat video of his odometer reading shows that it wasn't just a momentary lack of judgement. Green had time to think it through and somehow still came up with the idea that, even in hindsight, posting a video which documented reckless driving on a California freeway is cool.
All very troubling to me. Now back to basketball.