Draymond Green respects Kyrie Irving's choice to leave LeBron: 'That's tough to do'

The Golden State Warriors have made more history, inking the most lucrative NBA jersey advertisement deal ever, entering into a three-year, $20M partnership with Japanese tech firm Rakuten, which they officially announced during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. 

Following the presser, which featured Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green modeling the new kits, Green answered questions from the media and shared his thoughts on the blockbuster Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade. 

Green, who has never been shy to share his opinion, had plenty of thoughts on the deal, and noted that while he wasn't surprised Irving wanted to leave, he is impressed with Irving's willingness to put so much pressure on himself. 

Green's full comments:

I wouldn't necessarily say it surprised me. I'd tell you more than anything just the respect level I have for him. That's tough to do. I don't think people take into account he put so much pressure on himself by doing that. But the willingness to do that, knowing the pressure that comes with that and saying I'm ready to do it, let's do it. That's what stood out to me more than anything. It's not the surprise of 'hey, Kyrie wants to leave,' that happens all the time. It happened with Shaq and Kobe. It's happened with a ton of other guys in the NBA over the course of the years. But for him to be willing to step out and say hey man -- a lot of people would say LeBron's the greatest player in the world -- and I don't say this in disrespect to LeBron, but speaking of Kyrie, to say, 'I don't want to play with him no more, I want my own thing.' Because you have to deliver with that. He's basically saying I'm ready to deliver. That's big, that says a lot. In saying that, and once again, he wasn't a free agent, so he could've gotten traded anywhere. But he's pretty much said I don't care where I go, I'm gonna make it happen. I think that says a lot about who he is as a competitor. Like his character, that says a lot about him.

These are some extremely thoughtful and interesting comments from Green, and they're a good example of why people want to hear from players. For the most part, the analysis of the trade has focused on how the various players -- Irving, Thomas, Jae Crowder -- will fit into their new teams, and how the deal will affect the Celtics and Cavs' records next year. 

Green, however, offered a valuable viewpoint by coming at the deal as a fellow, and competing, player. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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