The Warriors' Draymond Green Just Taught a Wonderful Lesson in Reacting to Criticism (Yes, That Draymond Green)
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
If you’re not a Golden State Warriors fan, you likely don’t warm to Draymond Green.
The power forward might seem to you like an arrogant, big-mouthed bully who, just as many bullies do, whines when he doesn’t get his way.
As far as former NBA whining bully Charles Barkley is concerned, well, he offered that Green annoys him so much he’d like to punch him.
The actual quote was: “I want to punch his ass in the face.”
Which conjures too many awkward images for my taste.
I fancy, though, that Barkley’s fist-swing is about as good as his golf swing — uglier and more ineffective than espadrilles in a rainstorm.
However, the former so-called Round Mound of Rebound was suddenly confronted with Green face-to-face after Game 6 of the NBA Western Conference Finals on Saturday night.
Would he take a swing? Or would he merely choose to insult the Warriors star a little more, in that adorable joking-not-joking manner?
And how might Green react?
Well, Barkley cowered somewhat. It was left to fellow TNT panelist Kenny Smith to point out that Barkley, in his dim, distant playing days, wasn’t dissimilar in style to Green.
Barkley claimed this was all “making a mountain out of a molehill.”
The only criticism he could articulate was that Green never admitted to committing a foul.
And then, perhaps, well, there’s all the physicality — some borderline, some even worse — that Green brings to his game.
For his part, Green could have reacted to Barkley in so many different ways.
He could have offered a politician’s bluster. He could have offered some bland statement that avoided the question. He could even have snarled.
Instead, he just admitted that he knew precisely why some people don’t view him with kindness.
He said that he didn’t think anyone in the NBA thought they ever committed a foul.
“I can get bad with that at times,” he said. “My mom always reminds me of it, my grandmother will say it, my uncle was really hard on me about it. So, I could understand that.”
Criticism is hard to take. The problem is that, occasionally — very occasionally — it’s true.
If you recognize that a criticism is true, there’s something glorious in admitting it.
It’s not easy.
Your ego is vast and vulnerable. Admitting fault feels like losing — or, even worse, exposing an ugly truth about yourself.
Oddly, though, you might find that people respect you more for showing that you at least know how you’re perceived by others.
I confess that, even though I’m a Warriors fan, I’m occasionally exasperated by Green’s highly sensitive reactions to alleged injustice.
Yet seeing him react with poise and honesty was a refreshing reminder that we’re all desperately imperfect.
Privately, we beat ourselves up over these imperfections.
To admit to them in public is the first step to a sane redemption.