Draymond Green has been a dedicated nemesis for LeBron James. He also went on record with some extremely serious praise.
Draymond Green appeared on ESPN’s First Take Wednesday morning, and when asked a question about LeBron James’ More Than a Vote initiative and political activism, he slipped in an interesting description of his on-court exploits:
Draymond Green really said LeBron James is the GOAT?
His relative “GOAT-ness” has been argued over for years so the first part of that take isn’t hot at all. But I’m sure some people might argue with characterizing LeBron’s resume as “flawless” considering his 3-6 record in NBA Finals appearances. Even more surprising is the hearing this take from Green, who has an antagonistic history with LeBron and seems to relish that role in general.
Green’s infamous Game 5 suspension in the 2016 NBA Finals came because he “made unnecessary contact with a retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin” of LeBron. Their beef ran on in various absurd forms for at least two years and it wouldn’t be shocking to hear Green advocate for Jordan or Kobe as the GOAT out of spite, or Stephen Curry out of impish contrarianism.
Regardless, LeBron is arguably one of the most impactful athlete activists of our time. He has been outspoken in the past on issues of racial justice, participating in symbolic protests after the killings of Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin. He joined Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony in a call to address gun violence, racial profiling and police violence at the 2016 ESPY awards. And he’s repeatedly put his money where his mouth is, helping found and support the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, OH. This institution goes far beyond educational initiatives in providing change-making supports to the families it serves, including providing bicycles to students and free tuition to the University of Akron to all graduating students.