Why Draymond had multi-layer reaction to KD's suspension comments

Why Draymond had multi-layer reaction to KD's suspension comments originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Draymond Green was away from the NBA for 12 games, but he stayed in the loop as players, fans and media personnel weighed in on his latest suspension.

One of the many who openly spoke about the incident was Green's former Warriors teammate Kevin Durant, whose words initially "really pissed" Green off.

"Yeah, that was insane to see," Durant said about Green after he swung and struck Jusuf Nurkić in the face during the Warriors' Dec. 12 matchup with the Phoenix Suns. "Glad Nurk is all right. Never seen that before on the basketball court in an NBA game.

"I hope Draymond gets the help that he needs. There's been incident after incident. I know Draymond, and … he hasn't been that way when I was around him and coming into the league. So, hopefully he gets the help he needs, and get back on the court and put all this stuff behind him."

But on a recent episode of "The Draymond Green Show," Green admitted he had to take a step back while reacting to Durant's comments and really try to understand what was being said.

Green said he went into a "deep dive" while dissecting Durant's words, and he wanted to respond in a different manner than he has in the past, which typically has been an aggressive or petty reply. Green said he asked himself, "What do you want the world to know about you?" and sat with that question to think about it. Ultimately, he realized he isn't the same person he was in 2017, but admitted he hasn't allowed "anyone in the world" to see his growth or how he's changed.

"So then I went back to Kevin Durant's statement and he said 'he was not like that.' So as I sat with myself, I said, 'I think it's time the world gets to know me. Who I am,'" Green said. "And if I can look at Kevin's statement the right way with the right mindset through the right lens, he's acknowledging essentially what I want the world to know about me.

"And then he spoke about help. And I'm like, 'How is he going to say I need help?' And when I went back through it with another lens I was like, 'Maybe you shouldn't hear help so negatively.' Maybe you're listening to the word 'help' with the same mindset that the word help meant when you were 15 years old. So maybe you shouldn't hear that so negatively and maybe he's not saying it as negatively as you're taking it. And even if he was, I made a decision in that moment that I wasn't going to take it that way.

"And it was a very proud moment for me. Because I said you're ready for growth. That's a step in the right direction."

Green, who grew up in Saginaw, Mich. about 100 miles north of Detroit, said the word "help" was foreign to him as a child and that mindset carried over into his adulthood.

He went from having "no resources" as a kid to "all the resources" as an NBA champion, and acknowledged it was "immature" and "stupid" not to take advantage of the resources he had in front of him.

About a week after the incident with Nurkić, The Athletic's Shams Charnia reported, citing sources, that Green started counseling. Green himself said on his podcast that he turned to people that he trusted and began to "lay out a plan" to get better before returning to the court.

The NBA reinstated Green on Saturday after he served a 12-game suspension. He returned to the Warriors facility on Sunday and will ramp up his workload before making his comeback on the court, which is expected to be in the next week or two.

Green made it clear on his podcast that he's still the same Draymond Green, but with a changed mindset and fresh outlook on things, he's focused and ready to become a better player, teammate and person moving forward.

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