Draymond Green believes lower-tier NBA players deserve more

BY AP • December 15, 2016

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Draymond Green is speaking up for all the backups and role players of the NBA world.

While Green insists he has more than enough money - and if he fails to use it wisely over his lifetime that's his own fault - he is determined to dish out another key assist in a long list of them already this season for Golden State: The Warriors' player representative vows to do his part in helping the lower-level guys of the league earn a little more.

''I was one of those guys nobody would stand up for,'' he said.

A day after the sides reached an agreement in principle on a new labor deal, Green offered the idea of a restructuring that would feature fewer players at the minimum salary level. The average salary is expected to hit $8.5 million next season and rise to $10 million by 2020-21, while minimums across the board will increase by 45 percent starting next season.

''It's not about where my status is at as an All-Star. You'll be taken care of. As a superstar in this league, you'll be taken care of. So it's not more so about us, it's more so about the guys who aren't on that level,'' Green said after Thursday morning's shootaround ahead of a home game with the Knicks. ''When I look at my career, I didn't expect to be at this level I'm at now. I kind of identify more with those guys that have not made it to the level I've been fortunate enough to make it to. So when I think of contract negotiations in the CBA, I think of them and how can we help them. How can we help the guys that aren't making as much make more?''

Green made it out of Saginaw, Michigan, to attend Michigan State then got drafted 35th overall in the second round of the 2012 draft by the Warriors. An All-Star and Olympic gold medalist this past summer in Rio de Janeiro, he has accomplished far more than even he expected.

He won't ever take for granted the fortunes he now has, and wants those who give him a break to rest to receive a financial bump.

''You're living pretty good if you're in the NBA. I don't want someone to look at me and say that I am inconsiderate about everyone else's life outside the NBA,'' he said. ''I grew up in a household where my mom made $16,000 a year. I know the struggle. I know how to keep those things in perspective and I do keep it into perspective.''

Green took to Twitter on Wednesday, expressing himself with a series of posts. He said he spent time studying the new agreement but still has much to learn about the fine details.

''Deal.?.?. Smh,'' he posted.

''Stand for something... or fall for anything.''

''One day we will get it right.... maybe.''

On Thursday, Green stressed that the last thing he wants people to think is that he is somehow complaining or that anybody in the NBA is at the hardship level of many Americans or others facing dire circumstances around the world.

''Nobody's going to run around complaining. I'd be an idiot to run around complaining about my pay. I'd look really stupid,'' he said. ''Nobody's greedy. Nobody's feeling like `Man, this is bull, I'm being slighted.' We're blessed to be in this situation.''

share story