2016 Cavs champ sends heart-to-heart message to Draymond Green as he’s ‘hurting’ game of basketball

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former Cleveland Cavaliers forward and current NBA analyst Richard Jefferson sent a heart-to-heart message to Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green after his third ejection of the season on Tuesday night.

After viciously hitting Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic in the face, Green was ejected from Tuesday’s game.

Before getting ejected, the four-time NBA champion tallied two points, two rebounds and two assists while turning the ball over three times. Golden State wound up losing Tuesday’s game 119-116.

Jefferson, who won a title with the Cavs in the 2015-16 season against Green and the Warriors, believes what the Warriors forward is doing is hurting the game of basketball.

“Dray, what are you doing, man?” Jefferson said. “You’re too important. You’re too good. This is getting to a space, man, where you’re hurting the game. This is bad for the game of basketball. What you are doing is bad for the game of basketball. And you are good for the game of basketball. But what you’re doing, my brother, is bad for the game. Come on.”

It’s hard to argue with Jefferson’s take, as Green’s action – and non-basketball plays – have not only hurt his team, but taken away from the game itself as well.

Green was suspended earlier this season for putting Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a headlock during a scuffle between the Timberwolves and Warriors. While the initial scuffle in that game was between Klay Thompson and Jaden McDaniels, Green came rushing in and escalated the situation.

These non-basketball plays are certainly concerning, and Jefferson wants Green to stop so he can show how valuable a player he really is on the floor. Green is a major reason why the Warriors have won four NBA titles since the start of the 2014-15 season.

After the loss to Phoenix, Green apologized for hitting Nurkic, but it may not be enough for him to avoid further discipline from the NBA.

“He was pulling my hip, and I was swinging away to sell the call, made contact with him,” Green said. “As you know, I’m not one to apologize for things I meant to do, but I do apologize to Jusuf because I didn’t intend to hit him.”

As Jefferson knows, Green’s actions cost him Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals due to suspension. That helped the Cavs turn around a 3-1 series deficit to upset the Warriors and win the series.

Hopefully for the Warriors, Green will realize that his actions are seemingly hurting his team and get back to playing a brand of basketball that has made him an impact player for many years.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.