Evidence continues to surface that Draymond Green’s splendid gifts also come with a curse, that his limitless energy and restless spirit, characteristics that fortify his unique basketball talent, are accompanied by a quest for adventure.
Which under certain circumstances can result in misadventure.
It’s exasperating that the Warriors power forward tends to collect technical fouls; that’s part of the Draymond package. It’s troubling, however, when beyond that he develops a pattern of behavior that calls into question his judgment.
Green, 26, has had a turbulent few months, with the latest episode coming at 2:28 a.m. Sunday, when he was arrested in East Lansing, Mich. and booked on suspicion of misdemeanor assault and battery. He was released on $200 bond, according to a document released Monday by the court.
Police were not responding to a call, East Lansing police Lt. Scott Wriggelsworth told CSNBayArea.com on Monday, but were in the area as part of routine patrol during closing time at the city’s downtown bars. Green, having grown up in Michigan and attending Michigan State in East Lansing, knows the area.
“The assault was witnessed by an officer that was in the area,” Wriggelsworth said.
Green, according to multiple reports corroborated by video, was being heckled by a man and reacted by slapping the individual, who sustained no injuries but cooperated with arresting officers, according to Wriggelsworth, who declined further comment.
Green is scheduled for arraignment July 20 – in the midst of training camp with Team USA – but his attorney, James Heos, reportedly waived that right, sparing Green from appearing in person. If he is found guilty of the allegations, Green could face a penalty as severe as 90 days in jail and a $500 fine – though it’s likely charges could be reduced or the case dropped entirely.
Heos did not respond to a message CSNBayArea.com left with his clerk.
The Warriors on Monday morning issued a statement of acknowledgement: “We are aware of the news involving Draymond Green in Michigan over the weekend. At this point, we are collecting information and will have no further comment until we have a better understanding of the situation.”
Though the incident itself may be minor, the circumstances and the allegations must be taken seriously – by Green and the Warriors – particularly after Green has apologized three times in recent months for his errors in judgment.
This is, after all, one of their star players, an All-Star and a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, generating unflattering headlines that contrast with his discerning points of view and mature dissection of issues in sport and beyond.
After accumulating enough postseason technical fouls to be suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 13 – though the foul triggering the suspension was questionable – Green apologized for hurting his team. The Warriors entered Game 5 with a 3-1 series lead over Cleveland and never won again.
Green on March 23 apologized for using “poor judgment” after posting Snapchat video, later deleted, of his car being driven at 118 mph on a Bay Area freeway. This was one month after apologizing for an outburst in the Warriors locker room at halftime of a game at Oklahoma City on Feb. 27.
The Warriors have consistently said they don’t “worry” about Draymond. They not only encourage his energy and edge but also concede he brings essential components to a team that over the past three seasons has 191 wins and a championship.
Though they undoubtedly are right in their assessment of Green’s value, his fury is manifesting itself beyond basketball. Driving too fast or staying out late is not unusual for a young man; many of us do it or have done it. Green is a celebrity living in overdrive, playing as hard as he works, and it puts him at risk of being in an awkward if not potentially dangerous situation.
Draymond is going to be Draymond. Can’t turn down his heat, don’t want to.
Recent events have to be taken very seriously, though, for they are cause for alarm for the man, for those who care about him and for his employers.