Full exposure: Draymond Green explains his NSFW photo

Michael Lee of The Vertical
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/5069/" data-ylk="slk:Draymond Green">Draymond Green</a> reacts during a Team USA practice session. (Getty Images)
Draymond Green reacts during a Team USA practice session. (Getty Images)

HOUSTON – When Draymond Green stepped onto the main court at Toyota Center for practice on Sunday, USA Basketball czar Jerry Colangelo met him and spent a few minutes discussing Green’s latest self-inflicted distraction for the 2016 Olympic team. Colangelo didn’t have to chastise or condemn Green’s blunder – posting an inappropriate photograph of his penis on social media – but wanted to remind the All-Star forward that he’s under enough scrutiny to attract unnecessary attention.

Green mostly nodded as Colangelo spoke, then sat down to apologize and explain how he could be involved in another embarrassing incident fewer than two weeks after reaching a plea deal with East Lansing, Mich., prosecutors for an assault charge from earlier this summer. After initially claiming on Twitter that the Snapchat account that posted the image was “hacked,” Green fessed up and admitted he simply erred in publishing it to the masses.

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“It was a situation where it was meant to be a private message. I hit the wrong button. Sucks,” Green said, arms folded as he spoke. “It was meant to be private. We’re all one click away from placing something in the wrong place, and I suffered from that this morning.”

Green immediately recognized the mistake and deleted the picture, but not before realizing he was too late: The public had been exposed to his privates. “I figured it out pretty quick. In this world, quick ain’t quick enough. Once it’s out, it’s out,” Green said before repeating himself. “Quick ain’t quick enough in this world.”

The Snapchat fiasco comes at time when Green was using the social media tool as an instrument to have fun with his Olympic teammates. He’s captured Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins while they were sleeping, and Irving and Jimmy Butler singing Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” to the disdain of Carmelo Anthony.

In addition to his initial account hack excuse, Green also expressed on Twitter that he, “Can’t win right now.” The past few months have been challenging for Green, with the 73-win Golden State Warriors blowing a 3-1 series lead in the NBA Finals, in part because Green was suspended one game for hitting LeBron James in the groin. A week before joining Team USA for training camp in Las Vegas, Green was arrested for allegedly slapping Michigan State football player Jermaine Edmondson at a bar, which lead to the plea deal in which a misdemeanor assault charge was dropped in exchange for accepting responsibility for a noise violation. But Green refused to mope about his recent misfortunes.

“I’m in a great position in my life,” Green said. “There’s so many things going on this world, that for me to sit and complain and say I can’t catch a break, I’m living my dream. And there’s so many people who struggle on a daily basis, that’s going through the struggle on a daily basis that, for me to sit here and say I can’t catch break because I was suspended a game in the Finals, or to say I can’t catch a break for this situation. I’m living my dream. I’m playing in the Olympics. To say I can’t catch a break, that’s disrespectful to everybody, because how many people get to live out their dream? I’m not going to sit here and throw myself a pity party. I’m fine. I get to joke around with these guys all day. Then get to go and do what I love for my country, I’m fine.”

Draymond Green has had an eventful offseason. (Getty Images)
Draymond Green has had an eventful offseason. (Getty Images)

Green;s presence on Team USA should represent the pinnacle of his unlikely ascent from overlooked second-round pick to undersized starting power forward on an NBA champion to fiery, loudmouthed All-Star. He wasn’t going to turn down his invitation, given that he wasn’t expected to be in this position when he came out of Michigan State. And, he has been standup in his responses to his mistakes, including the swiftness in accepting responsibility when asked about the graphic Snapchat posting. But these lapses in judgments, followed by seemingly sincere apologizes, are beginning to overshadow the in-your-face-underdog reputation that gave him a significant following.

Green is slowly becoming more aware that his gaffes are amplified and don’t just go away with the delete button. But he hasn’t arrived at that place where he can get out of his own way, even as his profile continues to rise.

“I mean, this is what I asked for. I asked to be in this position. I worked to be in this position. And it comes with the territory,” Green said. “But I truly believe that we all go through points in our lives that propel us to the next level and I think I’m at a stage right now where all this stuff will help propel me to the next level as a basketball player, but more importantly, as a man.

“I don’t live my life with regrets. I apologize for the situation because it’s clearly not what I was trying to do. At the end of the day, you have situations in your life that help push you forward and you have to use them the right way,” Green said. “I’m playing ball right now. Everything that happened is the past. That’s why we have past, present and future. I like to live in the present, live in the now. I don’t like to just throw my experiences out, because you learn from them. And I don’t like getting too far ahead because you miss what’s going on now. Everything happens for a reason. You shook yourself, grow, learn and move on.”

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