Draymond Green paused with a recent segment of “First Take” featuring Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and J.J. Redick.
After getting hit in the eye in the first quarter during Game 2 of the second-round playoff series, the two analysts had a heated debate regarding Draymond Green’s middle finger salutation to the Memphis Grizzlies jeering crowd.
During the postgame press conference, Green expounded on the situation in his typical take-no-prisoners style.
Draymond Green is not a fan of Memphis.
This series rules. pic.twitter.com/Hr2sxqL47b
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) May 4, 2022
“Felt Really Good To Flip Them Off”
“You’re going to boo somebody who gets elbowed in the eye and face running down blood, you should get flipped off, so I’ll take the fine, I’ll go do an appearance and make up the money,” said Green in the postgame press conference.
“But it felt really good to flip them off. I could have had a concussion or anything. So if they going to be that nasty, I can be nasty too and i’m assuming the cheers was because they know I’ll get fined. Great, I make $25 million a year, I should be just fine.”
Mad Dog On The Loose
Russo immediately went in on Draymond’s perspective.
“Shut up and play, will you please,” Russo said vehemently. “America’s tired of Draymond Green, and I deal with them constantly; the fans, San Francisco fans, are a different story. Be quiet and play, and we all know he’s got a great skill set for that team, but he’s so polarizing I can’t root for him.
“I understand how good he is; I can’t root for him. Now listen, they booed him, fans boo, they’re fickle, fans boo all the time, guys get hurt, not hurt, they don’t really mean anything by it, they boo, that’s what they do!”
However, Green heard the chatter and took to his podcast, “The Draymond Green Show,” to set Russo straight and make him understand that the time of the silent athlete is over.
“Yesterday, he [Russo] goes on TV and he says ‘America is tired of Draymond Green.’ He then proceeds to say ‘shut up and play,’ ” Green said. “I’m not one to really pull a race card very often because I think we all know the role that race plays in a world that we live in, but that definitely had a racist connotation.”
Green discussed the new media guard versus the new athletic media brigade that are rebuffing the “analysts” who have never played professional sports.
Guest host and former NBA player J.J. Redick also took great pause with comments and checked Russo right there on the spot.
Redick Reads Russo
“The same sort of connotations that the ‘shut up and dribble’ crowd has towards athletes, and I have a real problem with that. And specifically with Draymond, the idea that America is tired of him, you do realize that the guy has a very, very popular podcast that he hosts where he talks himself for the majority of the episode and people listen to that,” Redick said.
“He signed a talent deal with Turner (Sports) because people want to hear what Draymond has to say,” Redick continued. “The reason they want to hear what Draymond has to say is because, just like in this press conference, he is real, authentic, and unfiltered, and as a player, he is real, authentic and unfiltered. The edge that he carries himself with, he’s talked about this since game one. Klay Thompson has talked about this since game one. It’s what makes him great; it’s what makes him a future Hall of Famer.
“It’s the reason he is who he is. It’s just like saying, ‘Hey, Ja Morant, stop dancing when your teammate’s making a three.’ The reason Ja Morant is great is because he plays with joy and fun and a carefree attitude, and a fearlessness. You can’t take away what makes a player great, so there’s no shut up and play.”
You can’t cancel someone for saying something you don’t/didn’t like. I don’t believe in that. I believe in standing on your word. Don’t sidestep it. Tell us how you really feel! And STAND ON IT!
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) May 6, 2022
Russo attempted to pivot and make it an ageism issue versus a racial one when it is a mix of ageism and culture.
“I can give you 50 million fans who will tell you the same thing, enough already; so he is a polarizing athlete,” Russo continued. “Sure, there are certain younger fans especially, that like to hear him. I’ll give you a large segment of older fans who have followed the NBA for sixty years; this is not a political scenario or a race situation.
“Who have followed Wilt [Chamberlain], and I grew up as a Knicks fan, who love Clyde [Frazier] and love [Willis] Reed and love [Earl] The Pearl who can’t stand Draymond,” Russo said.
However, J.J. Redick was not having it.
Also, I don’t believe in cancel culture. This is not a cancel attempt. Just stand on your words. ACCOUNTABILITY
THE NEW MEDIA
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) May 6, 2022
Keep Your Bob Cousy Energy
“I’m not saying it’s a race situation; I’m saying that the fans you’re talking about, they talk about athletes that way like you just talked about an athlete,” Redick said passionately.
“People on Fox News talk about athletes that way; that’s my issue. I don’t actually care about the fans that watched Bob Cousy play or that watched Wilt play. I don’t care, I appreciate they’ve been NBA fans that long but I don’t appreciate the undertone.”
JJ sent the clown back to the Circus! https://t.co/VtTaPFkqYh
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) May 4, 2022
Welcome To The New Media
Green saw Redick defending him and lauded it as an example of the new former athlete commentary dynamic that has changed the way you can talk about sports on major platforms.
“Those ‘shut up and play,’ ‘shut up and dribble’ days those are long gone,” Green said. “We don’t listen to that anymore, we don’t want to hear it anymore. It has no place here, nor will it be tolerated.
“You will no longer be allowed to sit there and say what you want, you will no longer be allowed to put out these false narratives, you will no longer be allowed to not know what you’re talking about and we’re going to listen to you,” Green continued. “Those days are long gone. You know why? Because we have guys like J.J. Redick who’s done it, who speaks it, who knows how to speak on any different topic, who’s not afraid to shut an idiot up.”