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Draymond Green Changed His Game Because His Son Was Playing Dirty

When forced to consider the example he was setting, the eminently hateable Draymond Green changed the way he plays.

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Draymond Green is one of the NBA’s premier players and infamous heels. As a member of the Golden State Warriors, he’s won three rings over the past four seasons. But over the time, the excellence of his play — he was an All-Star for the past three seasons — was often overshadowed by his antics. He’s been decidedly less of an opportunistic villain on the court during these playoffs, and he recently shared that playing hoops with his two-year-old son, Draymond Jr., is a big reason why.

“I realized how impressionable the kids are at the ages they’re at, and I just really wanna be an example to them to show them the right thing.”

That’s quite a turn for a guy who’s earned his reputation through a series of highly public flops, kicks that seem to find his opponents’ testicles, and endless shit-talking.

But fatherhood has changed Draymond. He shared a story about his son playing on his kid-sized hoop and displaying some of what can charitably be called the gamesmanship Green has been known for throughout his career.

“My son was playing, he was shooting and flopping. I said ‘Yo, you gotta stop watching the NBA.’ He was shooting and falling on the floor like ‘Oh daddy help me up’ and I’m like ‘Nah, junior what you flopping for?'”

Some see flopping as gamesmanship, the logical manifestation of a “do anything to help your team win” attitude. Others see it as unsportsmanlike, the refuge of players who can’t play and win without tricking the refs into calling cheap fouls on opponents.

It’s remarkable that Green, who’s long been seen as part of the first camp, seemed to acknowledge that he doesn’t want his son to play the game that way, despite the fact that his NBA reputation was built on that kind of play.

But for now, it doesn’t seem that his flop-free playing style has detracted from his game. Green is averaging 13.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 8 assists per game during this NBA postseason and his Warriors are up 3-0 on the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals. It’s enough to make you wonder if he needed to flop in the first place.