Draymond’s three-minute rant was caused by the Cavs’ decision to sit Andre Drummond on Monday’s game after the rest of the league was informed about his availability on the trade market. According to ESPN, Cleveland’s general manager Koby Altman discussed the situation with Andre and his agent Jeff Schwartz and both parties decided that a 27-year-old big won’t be active until they find a trade partner.
I would like to talk about something that’s really bothering me. And it’s the treatment of players in this league. To watch Andre Drummond, before the game, sit on the sidelines, then go to the back, and to come out in street clothes because a team is going to trade him, it’s bulls—.Draymond Green, ESPN
Draymond called out NBA teams for their hypocrisy, loathing on the fact there is a clear discrepancy between what organizations are allowed to do and how their actions are perceived, compared to a backlash players receive after they decide to “control their own destiny.” He used the league’s latest blockbuster deal as an example.
When James Harden asked for a trade and essentially dogged it, no one’s going to fight back that James was dogging it his last days in Houston, but he was castrated for wanting to go to a different team, everybody destroyed that man, and yet a team can come out and say ‘Oh, we want to trade a guy,’ and then that guy has to go sit, and if he doesn’t stay professional, then he’s a cancer. And he’s not good in someone’s locker room, and he’s the issue.Draymond Green, ESPN
Harden forcing his way out of Houston wasn’t exactly the epitome of a player being respectful towards the organization. Partying in Vegas and Atlanta during the team’s training camp, missing mandatory media availability, and not following the league COVID protocols is what caused the backlash, more than the trade demand itself. It wasn’t about what James wanted; but how he made it happen. What the Warriors’ forward points to is that NBA teams are doing the same thing.
We’re seeing situations of Harrison Barnes getting pulled off the bench. Or DeMarcus Cousins finding out he’s traded in an interview after the All-Star Game, and we continue to let this happen. But I got fined for stating my opinion on what I thought should happen with another player, but teams can come out and continue to say, ‘Oh, we’re trading guys, we’re not playing you.’ And yet, we’re to stay professional.Draymond Green, ESPN
The thing Green is right about is that the NBA lacks respect reciprocity. It just isn’t as one-sided as he presented it. Looking back on it, the teams’ actions may be a by-product of owners getting back at players for utilizing the player empowerment movement, which started with LeBron James’s move to the Miami Heat. It’s been just over a decade, and perhaps they’re still salty about the NBA’s power balance shift with a new, much more egalitarian players/owners dynamic.
Actions like James Harden’s sure don’t help that case, and at this point, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s why Adam Silver has to intervene. Certain conduct parameters have to be established on both sides, with sportsmanlike conduct and a minimum level of respect and mutual responsibility being prerequisites for players and owners to at least deal with these types of situations in a manner appropriate to the image of the greatest basketball league in the world.
The media, as well as fans, also have to do their part, holding both sides to an equal level of accountability. We criticize players — we should do the same with organizations. Until both sides are treated with the same respect, we should call out everyone that fails to do so.
A collective effort by the whole NBA community is needed. It’s time for things to change.