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June 19, 2024
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Draymond Green wanted to retire, but NBA commish talked him out of it


Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green seriously considered retirement when the NBA suspended him indefinitely, but commissioner Adam Silver talked him out of it, Green said on his podcast, The Draymond Green Show, which was released Monday morning.

“I told him, ‘Adam this is too much for me … This is too much,’ ” Green said on the pod. “ ‘It’s all becoming too much for me – and I’m going to retire.’ And Adam said, ‘You’re making a very rash decision and I won’t let you do that.’

“We had a long, great conversation. Very helpful to me. Very thankful to play in a league with a commissioner like Adam who’s more about helping you than hurting you, helping you than punishing you. He’s more about the players.”

A person with knowledge of the details confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that Green and Silver had such a conversation. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the exchange.

The NBA lifted the indefinite suspension on Saturday, but Green did not play in Golden State’s loss to Toronto on Sunday. The Warriors are 7-6 in Green’s absence, and they are 17-19 overall and in 11th place in the Western Conference. They play New Orleans on Wednesday, but it has not been determined when Green will return to game action.

The NBA suspended Green indefinitely Dec. 13 for “striking Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkić in the face,” during a game the day before.

Green was forthcoming and emotional in the podcast.

“I was wrong,” Green said of the incident. “I accept my fault in that, and I apologize. … It brings pain. I have a wife, I have children, I have parents, I have grandparents, siblings, friends that I embarrassed, and it hurts. My mom experienced death threats. I have two children that are of school age, and they have to go to school.”

The league said Green would “be required to meet certain league and team conditions before he returns to play.”

Green’s suspension without pay cost him $1.84 million.

Green said Warriors coach Steve Kerr visited him on Dec. 14. They both cried, Green said, and Kerr told him, “ ‘I want you to end this the right way. I want us to end this the right way, and you’re not doing that right now, so I want you to do what you have to do to get in the space where you can do that and then we can do that.’ ”

The Dec. 13 suspension came just six games after he served a five-game suspension without pay in November for “escalating an on-court altercation and forcibly grabbing Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert around the neck in an unsportsmanlike and dangerous manner.

The indefinite suspension issued in December was Green’s fourth suspension since March, including a one-game suspension in the first round of the playoffs against Sacramento in April.

This season, Green, who signed a four-year, $100 million contract with Golden State in the offseason, averages 9.7 points, 5.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds and shoots 49% from the field and 42.9% on 3-pointers.

Follow NBA reporter Jeff Zillgitt on social media @JeffZillgitt

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