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Draymond Green shares the only time he talked trash to Tim Duncan

Rookie Draymond Green tried to get in the head of Tim Duncan but was immediately introduced with the cold truth.
Tim Duncan and Draymond Green

Tim Duncan and Draymond Green

As the 35th overall pick of his draft class, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green knew from the get-go that he had to prove himself. Apart from putting in the physical work, Green also wanted to have the mental edge. And he did this the only way he knew how: talk trash to his foes. However, Green learned very early on that there are just some people you don’t talk trash to. One of them is Tim Duncan.

Death stare

During the 2016 NBA Playoffs, after the Oklahoma City Thunder eclipsed the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference semifinal, Green suddenly recalled his encounter with the great Tim Duncan. It was the first and last time Green talked trash to the five-time NBA Champion.

“I do have a Tim Duncan story. My rookie year I kind of talked junk to everybody. In the middle of the game I started talking to Tim, and I had already got into it with somebody on their team. I don’t remember who it was. But I started talking to Tim and he kind of just stared at me. I just kept talking junk to him and he kept staring at me.

Draymond Green, ESPN

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Deciphering Duncan

After Duncan’s death stare, Green was put back into his place. Reality came back to slap him and say, “You’re a rookie talking trash to one of the greatest players of the game. You owe him.” Green came with several inferences as to what Duncan’s silence meant.

“At that point I realized during the rest of my career that I might as well not talk to him. Either, one, he is not going to talk back because he has no respect for me. Or, two, he is not going to talk back because that is who he is. Or, three, both. I figured then that was the last time I would talk junk to Tim. And that was the last time.

Draymond Green, ESPN

It was definitely a great basketball lesson for Green. Perhaps up until that point, Draymond knew players who could easily be fazed after whispering some junk into his ear. These are the ones who are weak mentally and probably never made it to the NBA. There are also those who thrive off trash-talking by instigating or talking back. We can say that the likes of Kevin Garnett, Gary Payton, and Michael Jordan fall in this category. 

However, there are also those who remain mum and let their play do the talking. Tim Duncan is the king of that category. Green learned that he should pick his battles wisely. Some guys are better left alone.


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