With all due respect to players like Chris Paul, Joel Embiid, and Patrick Beverley, Draymond Green is, without a doubt, the best trash-talker in the NBA today. He takes trash-talking very seriously, and during an interview with ESPN back in April, he spoke about how he’s spent years crafting his ability to do it.
"I absolutely love it," he said. "I’ve been doing this for a very long time. There’s an art to trash-talking."
All of his hard work has definitely paid off. Green is so good at talking trash at this point that, while we’ve traditionally waited until the end of an NBA player’s career before compiling a list of their best trash-talking moments—we’ve run trash talk features on Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Kobe Bryant in the past—we don’t see much sense in waiting around for another 10 years before paying homage to the Warriors’ enforcer. He has already proven himself to be one of the best trash-talkers in NBA history, and it’s time to recognize that now. Here are Draymond Green’s 15 Most Savage Trash-Talking Moments.
15. "You’ll Never Dunk on Me"
Victim: Dennis Smith Jr.
This is obviously the most recent moment, seeing as how it just happened this week, but we think it provides a pretty good illustration of what Green’s trash-talking is really all about. He took what could have been a relatively routine play—a ticky-tack foul on a missed dunk attempt—and turned into a teachable moment for an NBA rookie. Green yelled, "You’ll never dunk on me" at Smith Jr. and then continued to go after him following the game while speaking with reporters.
"That shit ain’t happening," Green said, referring to the idea of a rookie getting the better of him at the rim. "This ain’t Summer League, bro. Not just gonna dunk on anybody. Better luck next time. It ain’t happening. C’mon, dude."
Smith Jr. seemed confused by Green’s trash talk, since it’s not like Green rejected him clearly. But if he’s going to last in this league, he’s going to have to get used to Green going off on him on the court.
14. "You Didn’t Say That"
Victim: Lakers fan
Green’s trash talk extends beyond just the basketball court. He’s also known to talk plenty of trash on social media, and back in October 2014, he took it upon himself to call out a Lakers fan who apparently lied about what he told Green when he met him. The fan took to Twitter to reveal that he told Green the Warriors were "gonna get ran by my Lakers this year." But Green disputed the fan’s version of the meeting and said the fan didn’t say that at all. It got quite a response from some of Green’s fellow NBA players.
If Green routinely talks trash to some of the toughest players in the NBA, what makes you think he won’t do it to you, too?
13. "I Laughed in His Face"
Victim: Kevin Durant
Back in 2015, Green revealed that KD is actually a decent trash-talker himself. He said KD’s trash talk "makes you feel bad about yourself." But that hasn’t stopped him from going after KD—even though the two are teammates now.
In September, Green was asked how he reacted when he heard that KD got caught using burner social media accounts to defend himself. Green alluded to his own social media struggles, but he also said that he showed no mercy when he heard about what happened to KD.
"I reached out to him, I talked to him through text the day of," Green said. "And then the next day, I saw him in person and I laughed in his face."
12. "He Suck!"
Victim: Kevin Hart
Green and Hart have developed a (somewhat) friendly rivalry on and off the basketball court. They once took part in a three-point contest against one another, and Hart has also heckled Green during Warriors games against his beloved 76ers. So when Green was asked his opinion on Hart’s basketball skills during an interview on Conan in September 2016, he didn’t hold back on ripping him to shreds.
"He suck!" Green said.
Green did give credit to Hart for believing in himself. "You know, the thing that make Kevin a great comedian is that he believes the stuff he say," he said. "Once again, thinking he’s good at basketball, he believe it."
But he stopped way short of giving him any credit for being good at basketball. "No!" he said, before referencing his three-point shootout with Hart. "I mean, he hit a couple spots where he shot well, and I was shocked. But no!"
11. "The Cavs Didn’t Stand a F*cking Chance"
Victim: The entire Cavaliers team (and Rockets general manager Daryl Morey)
During a recent interview with GQ, Green was asked about the Warriors’ dominance in recent seasons, and in particular, their dominance of the Cavaliers during the 2017 NBA Finals. He didn’t shy away from admitting that he was actually upset the Warriors were only able to beat the Cavs 4-1 in their series last June.
"They didn’t stand a fucking chance," he said. "It pissed me off we didn’t sweep them."
Elsewhere in the GQ piece, Green touched on some comments made by Morey, who said the Warriors are "not unbeatable" during an interview over the summer. Morey also suggested, "We have something up our sleeve," which really set Green off.
"What the fuck are you talking about?" he said. "They are really trying to rethink their whole strategy, because teams know they don’t have a fucking clue."
10. "Ain’t No Man Gonna Touch My Head"
Victim: O.J. Mayo
Green and Mayo were nearly involved in a physical confrontation after a Warriors/Bucks game in December 2015. Green made some comments about Mayo’s then-teammate Michael Carter-Williams that Mayo didn’t like, and he responded by getting in his face following the contest. He also put his hand on Green’s head, at which point Green shoved him and then almost got into it with Mayo's teammate Khris Middleton. It’s unclear what exactly was said between the two, but Green explained why he pushed Mayo after the game.
"I’m not going to really talk about what guys talk about or say," Green said. "What you think he said, he may not have said or may have said. But ain’t no man gonna touch my head. I’m a grown man."
9. "You Can’t Mention ‘Bron in Every Song You Do"
Victim: Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj has gotten into the habit of name-dropping LeBron James on many of her songs—and it’s something that doesn’t sit real well with Green. After she mentioned LeBron on her song, “No Frauds,” in March 2017, Green took to his Dray Day podcast to blast Nicki for repeatedly working LeBron’s name into her verses.
"Is Nicki gonna mention ‘Bron in every song?" he asked. "Every song she’s released since June 2016, there’s something about LeBron in it. I mean, damn, like, LeBron is great, but Jesus Christ, at some point it just becomes… too repetitive. Jesus Christ, you can’t mention ‘Bron in every song you do."
"Every song" might be a slight exaggeration on Green’s part, but this clearly touched a nerve with him.
8. "I’m the Modern-Day Draymond Green"
Victim: Charles Barkley
Green has been a very vocal critic of Barkley over the last few years. The two are often compared to one another, and during an interview in May 2017, Green said that he is not with the comparisons. He went as far as to say that he flatly rejects the idea that he and Barkley are anything alike when it was suggested that he is the modern-day Barkley.
"Hell no," he said. "I’m the modern-day Draymond Green. Fuck no."
"I’m all for destroying Barkley," Green said. "You know, Barkley talk a lot. A whole lot for a guy who has not won a championship… When it comes to speaking about someone who has a championship, Barkley should be muted."
7. "Cool Story, Glenn"
Victim: Doc Rivers
The Warriors and Clippers had one of the best rivalries in the NBA a couple seasons ago, and that rivalry was due in large part to moments like this. After a March 2015 game between the two teams, then-Clippers forward Dahntay Jones walked by Green while he was doing a live TV interview and bumped into him. Green responded by shooting him a look that made it seem like he might step to him right there on the court.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers offered up a sarcastic take on the situation and referred to Green as "that tough guy on Golden State" when he saw what happened.
"Wow, that was such a violent bump!" he said. "I’m telling you. It was amazing. I told Dahntay, ‘You’ve got to be careful. That was too hard.’ I guess that tough guy on Golden State, I mean, I think the bump was too hard for him, clearly, the way he reacted."
And Green had an equally sarcastic response for Rivers. That response?
Glenn, for those who don’t know, is Rivers’ government name. So petty.
6. "Drake’s Boots Cost Them the Game"
Drake went all out for the third annual "Drake Night" at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto in November 2016. He held a press conference before the game. He showed up wearing a shirt with Doris Burke’s face on it. And he sat courtside and cheered for the Raptors as they played against the Warriors. But despite his best efforts, the Warriors won the game—and afterward, the Golden State players had a whole lot to say about Drake.
Kevin Durant said, "We don’t give a damn about no Drake Night!" Andre Iguodala said he had absolutely no plans to chill with Drake after the game. And Green went off on the boots Drake wore to the game and said they were to blame for the Raptors’ loss.
"Drake’s boots cost them the game," Green said, interrupting Iguodala’s live post-game interview on the court.
Green later added: "The shirt was nice. But his boots were so bad. I was disappointed in his outfit overall. It’s Drake Night. You gotta bring better than that."
Green has since gone on to rip Drake’s fashion choices on numerous other occasions since then.
5. "Cavaliers? Nope"
Victim: The entire Cavaliers team
During the Warriors’ NBA title parade in June 2015, Green celebrated by remixing E-40’s hit song, “Choices (Yup),” on the fly in the middle of a live TV interview. Golden State was just a few days removed from knocking off the Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals, and while standing next to Klay Thompson, he let it be known who the better team was.
"Klay Thompson? Yup," he said. "Splash Brothers? Yup. Cavaliers? Nope. We won? Yup. They suck? Yup. We here? Yup. They not? Nope."
Green clearly got caught up in the moment, but we imagine most Cavs fans weren’t too happy to hear this in the immediate aftermath of their team’s loss.
4. "We Rocking With Floyd, Bro, Not You"
Victim: Conor McGregor
Right before fighting Floyd Mayweather in August 2016, Conor McGregor was spotted wearing a No. 23 Warriors jersey. Green responded to it by posting a photo of McGregor in the jersey on Instagram along with a caption that let him know that the Warriors weren’t going to be pulling for him in his fight.
"We rocking with Floyd bro not you," Green wrote. "Take that off bruh."
What made this moment great, though, was that McGregor didn’t back down from Green. In one of the few instances in which Green met his match, McGregor fired back on him with a vicious clapback of his own.
"That’s C.J. Watson, mate," he wrote. "I don’t know who the fuck you are. No disrespect tho, kid, keep hustling and stay in school. Now ask yourself why I’m rocking C.J. when I don’t know or give a fuck about basketball. I dribble heads off the floor. Not a ball. This is no game here, kid."
The jersey turned out to be a total troll move on McGregor’s part, and Green just got caught in the crossfire.
3. "Bro, You’re Not Scaring Anyone"
Victim: Kevin Garnett
KG earned a reputation for saying some pretty off-the-wall things to his opponents during his NBA career. Few players talked trash quite like him. But that didn’t stop Green from going directly at him when he first came into the league.
During an interview with Grantland in April 2015, Green admitted that he admired KG growing up, but he also said that didn’t stop him from talking trash to him the first time they played against one another.
"KG just talks junk to try and scare people," he said. "He won’t say nothing directly to you. He just says stuff about you out loud, like talking to himself. So I called him out: ‘Bro, you’re not scaring anyone. Just stop with the antics.’ We got into it, but I’ve got a lot of respect for him."
There aren’t many people who could get away with saying, "Stop with the antics," to KG, but Green is obviously one of them.
2. "You Ain’t Kobe"
Victim: Paul Pierce
Green took some shots at Paul Pierce for criticizing Kevin Durant at the beginning of last season. And when the Warriors and Clippers played back in February 2017, he continued sending shots in Pierce’s direction. While Blake Griffin was in the middle of shooting free throws, Green badgered Pierce about the fact that he didn’t get the same kind of farewell tour that Kobe Bryant got right before he retired.
"You can’t get no farewell tour," he said, "they don’t love you like that. You ain’t got that type of love. You thought you was Kobe? You ain’t Kobe."
Green later said he didn’t have "nothing personal" against Pierce on his podcast. But he added: "If you gonna talk junk, I don’t hold anything back when I’m talking junk. If I’ma talk junk, I’ma talk. And I’ma take it where it needs to go."
1. "B*tch" (or Was It "F*ckboy"?)
Victim: LeBron James
Green and LeBron got tied up at the end of Game 4 of the 2016 NBA Finals—and it led to Green serving a one-game suspension that really turned the tide of the series and led to the Warriors blowing a 3-1 series lead. LeBron was noticeably upset during the confrontation, and it led many people to wonder what in the world Green said to get LeBron so angry.
An initial report suggested that Green called LeBron a "bitch"—twice—during the trash-talking that the two players did. That report indicated that Green called LeBron a bitch once before LeBron pointed out that he’s "the father of three kids and a man" and that Green responded to that by saying, "You’re still a bitch."
But Green’s trash talk actually may have been even worse than that. While speaking with Jimmy Butler on The Bill Simmons Podcast a few days later, Bill Simmons revealed that he heard Green went above and beyond while trash-talking with LeBron. According to him, Green a called LeBron a "fuckboy," not a bitch.
"I heard he didn’t say the b-word," Simmons said. "I heard it began with an F and ended with boy. That was what I heard. That’s why I think LeBron took it so personally. I’m sure LeBron has been called the b-word before. He really got upset. I don’t know if you saw. His feelings got hurt. It’s really hard to hurt LeBron’s feelings. He’s one of the strongest people in the United States."
LeBron may be strong but even he was no match for Green and his incessant trash talk. Not that he should be ashamed about that. Green has proven time and time again that he’s simply on another level when it comes to running his mouth.