I’ll confess to the faintly scandalized thrill I first felt when Draymond Green began podcasting during the NBA playoffs, like some embedded war reporter. Can you even do that? Here was the most straightforward rejection yet of a long-eroding norm: The public should only hear from the players at the press conferences, or well after the series is over, filtered through some beat guy’s rosy retrospective. And because Green had been fairly insightful in his TV appearances to date, he seemed like a good candidate to dish on the ins and outs of the highest-stakes basketball there is. Now that I’ve actually tried listening to said podcast, and now that it’s the NBA Finals, where Green is depositing his nightly turd into the box score, a different question arises: Can you please not do that?
When you play poorly in a Game 3 NBA Finals loss, certain paths open, and others close. You are free to show remorse for playing “like shit,” as Green did admit after his historically bad outing on Wednesday. However, you are forbidden from running straight to your hotel and yelling into a microphone, “Sorry that this podcast is probably doing better numbers than yours,” mere hours after fouling out with two points, four rebounds, and three assists. Let’s review. Apologizing for shooting 26 percent from the floor while being left radically unguarded by the most scrupulous defense in basketball: good. “Apologizing” for being a burgeoning media mogul right after you match your series-total 15 points with 15 personal fouls: bad.
You are also strongly discouraged from berating a reporter who asks if there are ways that publishing an unfiltered rant after each game might give the opposing team some tactical advantage.
In his podcast after Wednesday’s loss, Green asks the haters what he should be doing with his time after the game instead of podcasting. Society would improve if more people asked themselves this question. “Sleep” is raised as a possibility—but all too briefly, and only rhetorically.