Draymond Green learned to talk trash from his mom

OAKLAND, Calif. – Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green searched through his contacts on his cell phone long after a 97-87 Game 2 win against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night until he found "Mama." On Twitter, Mary Babers-Green is known as @babers_mary, and she has a growing number of basketball fans and journalists who follow her and can't wait to hear what she has to say next.

Green is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate and perhaps the best trash-talker in the league. Judging by reading the tweets of @babers_mary, it isn't hard to tell where he got his skills from.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

"I only have to be mindful and respectful of my son and not be belligerent," Babers-Green told Yahoo Sports in a phone interview early Tuesday morning in Saginaw, Mich. "But I am staying in the guideline of the rules. His rules.

"I myself have no rules. I myself will [say something]. But I have to respect him."

Babers-Green first attracted notice on Twitter on Jan. 5 when she joined an online conversation on whether her son was worthy of being an All-Star. In response, she tweeted: "If the game wasn't a popularity contest he would be…"

Draymond Green had 14 points and 12 rebounds in Game 2. (AP)
Draymond Green had 14 points and 12 rebounds in Game 2. (AP)

Babers-Green first received national attention from the media when she ridiculed Akron Beacon-Journal sports writer Jason Lloyd on Twitter on April 13.

Lloyd said on Twitter that Green didn't get his vote for the NBA first or second All-Defense team because "a handful of players I polled recently scoffed at the idea of Green even being on the list." Babers-Green responded to Lloyd on Twitter by saying, "Tell him to jump in the Lake w/ weights!" Babers-Green deleted the Tweet, but it still lives on in cyberspace.

When asked if Lloyd deserved that response from his mom, Green said: "Yeah. He was hating."

Green is currently in a commercial with Warriors All-Star teammate Stephen Curry asking people not to cyber bully. Babers-Green, who says her remarks are all in fun, said she began using Twitter a couple years ago, but her son deleted the initial account. She eventually returned to Twitter unbeknownst to Green and is having fun talking smack during Warriors games.

"Now you've seen what I've grown up with my entire life," Green said. "Everybody wonders why I talk junk. I was doomed from the day I walked into her household. She's great. That's where I get my competitive nature from."

Babers-Green does most of her tweeting at home in Saginaw, when she stays up late to watch her son's Warriors games. After watching the Warriors take a 2-0 lead in the first-round series, she was probably tired when she arrived at her security job on Tuesday morning at a Saginaw middle school.

Babers-Green hopes to attend one of her son's playoff games soon.

"I'm not sure when I can go because I have to do campus patrol here," Babers-Green said. "This school is like a baby Iraq. It's kind of hard for me not to be here. If I'm not here, hell breaks loose."

Babers-Green now has 1,200 followers on her Twitter account. Among her tweets from Game 2:

"She gets pretty animated," Green said. "She just texted me and said, 'Hey, way to get it done. I had fun on Twitter tonight.' I've told her about some things that she has tweeted. She said, 'Nothing crazy. I'm famous.' "

Warriors coach Steve Kerr compared Green's trash talking to Hall of Famer Reggie Miller. Green had more than a little to say to the Warriors' rival, the Los Angeles Clippers. Clippers guard Dahntay Jones was fined $10,000 this season for bumping into Green during a postgame television interview this season. After Clippers coach Doc Rivers questioned Green's toughness after the fine, Green mocked the coach's first name by saying in a San Francisco KNBR-AM interview, "Cool story, Glenn." Green now has T-shirts with "Cool story, Glenn" for sale online.

So who's a better trash-talker: Green or his mom?

"Probably her. She's incredible. I just tone it down some for her," said Green, who admitted to using his mom's one-liners. "If I didn't censor her [the media] would be in here scolding me like, 'Your mom is out of control.' … I'm sure she is way worse than me."

Green had 15 points and 12 rebounds in Game 1. (Getty Images)
Green had 15 points and 12 rebounds in Game 1. (Getty Images)

After playing four years at Michigan State, Green was selected by the Warriors with the 35th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. He came off the bench on the Warriors' summer league team that year. Green began attracting notice last season as a key reserve for the Warriors while averaging 6.2 points and five rebounds and playing tough defense against the likes of LeBron James and other NBA stars.

Green entered this season as the Warriors' starting power forward because David Lee was injured. He never relinquished the job and averaged career-highs of 11.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks this season. The Defensive Player of the Year candidate also is effective because of his versatility. He is expected to be a coveted free agent this offseason who could merit a maximum contract.

"It goes along with his life," Babers-Green said. "He never was picked first when he played sports as a kid. But once he got it, he always stayed in the game. It goes with his story. But it doesn't amaze me because he does this all the time. Every time he gets in everyone says, 'Wow.' "

Green is now in the midst of the toughest challenge of his career trying to defend MVP candidate Anthony Davis in the first-round playoff series. The athletic 6-foot-10 forward is three inches taller, has a much greater wingspan and averaged 24.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in the regular season.

Davis had 26 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in 45 minutes in Game 2. Green countered with 14 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in almost 42 minutes. Green also said he screamed at Kerr for not having him in for a stretch when Davis was in and kept playing after he rolled his already injured left ankle twice.

Back in Saginaw, no one was rooting harder for Green than his mom.

"It's fun to me," Babers-Green said. "I'm enjoying it. They trash talk to me. I trash talk back. I sometimes get ticked off, but I relax."

What to Read Next