Draymond Green spoke out this week about what he perceives as a double standard when it comes to how players and teams are treated differently when it comes to the trade process. Perhaps unsurprisingly, LeBron James has the Golden State Warriors star’s back.
James offered his reaction Tuesday night to Green’s scathing screed on the situation involving the Cleveland Cavaliers and Andre Drummond, who is being sat by the team as it explores trading the big man. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar, who said he is “right with” Green, prefaced his comments by indicating he would be “strategic” when offering his opinion given how much his words resonate across the league.
“It’s the narrative of what the league has always been,” James said, via USA Today.
“From a team’s perspective they control the narrative. They’ve controlled the narrative of how players should be, how they should act, how they should treat their organization and if things don’t go their way they have a way of getting out the narrative that this person or that person is a bad fit or a cancer to the team or whatever the case may be. They’ve always controlled that narrative.”
James added players just “want people to understand that it’s two sides to the coin. It’s not just one-sided," later adding, “… Organizations will try to throw you under the bus and we’ve seen it over the course of time throughout a lot of athletes, (organizations) will try to throw you under the bus.”
Green ignited a compelling debate earlier this week when he railed against how the Cavaliers were handling the Drummond situation and how things would be perceived differently had the player initiated the trade discussions instead of the other way around.
Draymond calls out the NBA's double standard for players who request a trade vs. teams who sit a player in order to trade them pic.twitter.com/nKcbKvA2MM— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) February 16, 2021
“At some point, as players, we need to be treated with the same respect and have the same rights that the team can have,” Green said in part.
“Because as a player, you’re the worst person in the world when you want a different situation. But a team can say they’re trading you. And that man is to stay in shape, he is to stay professional. And if not, his career is on the line. At some point, this league has to protect the players from embarrassment like that.”
There has always been an arguably disconcerting dynamic when it comes to player movement in the NBA. When a player demands a trade, as was the case with James Harden earlier this season before the Houston Rockets-Brooklyn Nets blockbuster deal, he is often vilified and perceived as selfish.
On the other hand, when the team is the party to initiate trade deliberations and elects to sit a player — as what’s presently occurring with the Cavs and Drummond — it’s viewed as a savvy move because it’s simply the case of an organization protecting an asset.
All things said, when players like James and Green come out to condemn the perceived double standard, it carries significant weight. However, as both stars appear to believe, it will take more players speaking out about the situation — and the league listening to their concerns — before any substantive change can be made.