Longtime Foe Draymond Green has Strong Words for LeBron James

Draymond Green, at left, guards the Lakers' LeBron James

Getty Draymond Green, at left, guards the Lakers' LeBron James

Typically, Draymond Green—the Warriors’ combative and rugged big man—is not the type to heap praise on opponents. He will make an exception, though, for one guy: LeBron James.

Green says James is (arguably) the GOAT.

Green appeared on ESPN’s First Take this week to talk about his involvement with the More Than a Vote campaign, a project that is advocating for greater access to the ballot box which has been spearheaded by James and his longtime friend and business partner Maverick Carter.

In doing so, Green dropped high praise onto James as a player.

“I think LeBron wields a lot of power, as he should,” Green said. “I think, arguably the greatest player of all time, you look at his resume, it is flawless on and off the court.”

Green did not stop there. He praised James’ leadership and, in doing so, threw James’ hat into the political ring, suggesting James would be a good candidate for the nation’s highest office.

From Green:

The things he has been able to do on the court, obviously spectacular, but it’s more important, the things he has been able to accomplish off the court. That’s where you get the utmost respect from me from. It’s not about, for me, what he’s done on the basketball court. As a competitor, I enjoy playing against him, you enjoy playing against the best. What he’s been able to do off the court, the initiatives he has been able to lead—and this is just another example of that—I have the utmost respect for him. Hopefully, he runs for president one day.

Draymond Green on the importance of the 'More Than A Vote' initiative | First TakeGolden State Warriors star Draymond Green joins First Take to discuss teaming up with LeBron James and Maverick Carter on the "More Than A Vote" initiative. #FirstTake #NBA ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ plus.espn.com/ ✔️ Get the ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn ✔️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE ✔️ Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on YouTube: bit.ly/SUBSCRIBEtoNBAonESPN ✔️ Watch…2020-06-23T15:54:24Z


LeBron and Draymond Have a Tense History

Green and James, of course, have not always had a back-patting relationship. The two met four times in the NBA Finals when James was playing for the Cavaliers and while Green’s Warriors won three of those matchups, he played an important role in Golden State’s only loss, in 2016, when the Warriors blew a 3-1 series lead.

Green was suspended for Game 5 of that series after he was called for a flagrant foul on James in Game 4. He also had a verbal confrontation with James in which he reportedly called him a, “b—-.”

But bygones are bygones, it seems. Last year, Green signed on with Klutch Sports, the agency headed by Rich Paul with James as its No. 1 client. Five months after signing with Klutch, Green signed a four-year, $100 million contract extension with the Warriors.

In his First Take interview, Green was notably wearing a Klutch workout shirt.

James, Green Focused on Voter Turnout

Green highlighted the importance of the work the organization is attempting to do. As protests have continued throughout June following the death of George Floyd after his arrest by police in Minneapolis, more attention has been focused on ways to bring about change. For More Than a Vote, the ballot box is one of them.

“It’s a bunch of guys and women understanding the need and understanding that we have a platform now,” Green said. “This country is not in a great position right now and we can help create that change. We want to do our part handling that.”

Green added that there are powerful headwinds, including from President Donald Trump, that seek to limit voting. More Than a Vote hopes to counter those headwinds.

“I think our president has made it loud and clear that black people are not important in this country, people of color are not important in this country,” Green said. “That’s actually not just Blacks—he’s made that clear for Latinos, he’s made that clear of Asians, all over the board. … You can look at the data and the data shows that if the African American population come out and vote, things are going to change in this country. So the best way to stop that is to stop the votes. I think we see it happening all over the country.”

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