Warriors forward Draymond Green has had a turbulent summer.
From being suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals for an altercation with LeBron James to an arrest for assault in July outside of restaurant in Michigan to posting an inappropriate photo on social media, Green has been in the news for the wrong reasons.
One person Green turns to for counsel is Tom Izzo, his coach at Michigan State from 2008 to 2012.
“He is always somebody to talk to. Sometimes you just need somebody to talk to that can give you an unbiased opinion. Sometimes you need someone to just listen. He’s there for all the tough times on the phone with me, calling someone else and then calling me back. This stuff is not his obligation at all," Green told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears prior to Izzo's Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Induction on Friday.
But it's not Green that's picking up the phone. It's actually Izzo.
“I highly doubt that if someone went through something like I did this summer, that they would talk to their college coach more than they talk to anybody else. That’s not normal. And you’re not calling him, he’s calling you. He is one of the realest and loyal people I’ve ever encountered,” Green said.
Izzo's advice to Green has been pretty specific, and could be words of wisdom for any player in a similar situation as Green, someone who went from making less than a million dollars a season to earning an $85 million contract.
“I talked to him a lot after all the things that happened. I told him that all of us have to learn how to adjust to the fame and realize that even if we are not doing anything as wrong as it seems on some of it, you’re being portrayed different. You go from $900,000 per year to $85 million. I’m not sure I’d handle it too good," Izzo told Spears.
“We talked the last couple weeks about just getting a new start. He doesn’t have to reinvent himself. He’s a hell of a kid and an incredible player and an incredible person. He just has to understand that he is being looked at a little differently when you’re at star status. You have to walk a little different line,” Izzo said.
Green capped off the summer with a gold medal at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but the 2016 NBA All-Star was limited to just 9.9 minutes per game in Brazil, the second lowest on the team.