"I'm gonna' be me" - Golden State Warriors' veteran concedes room for growth but won't change style

Cleveland Cavaliers v Golden State Warriors
Cleveland Cavaliers v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Golden State Warriors' forward Draymond Green has promised he won't stop playing his style of basketball as he prepares to return from a five-game suspension on Tuesday night against the Sacramento Kings.

The veteran was suspended two weeks ago for his headlock on Minnesota Timberwolves' center Rudy Gobert, with the incident having come in a larger scuffle between the teams in the opening two minutes of their matchup on November 14.

Draymond Green won't stop being himself despite the latest incident that saw him suspended for the Golden State Warriors' last five games.

Green's headlock on Gobert was just the latest in a slew of controversial incidents throughout the 33-year-old's career. While many fans have clamoured for the former Defensive Player of the Year to tone down his sometime-erratic aggression, it evidently remains a staple of who Green is as a player.

Speaking ahead of his return from suspension, Green said "I'm gonna' be me" while conceding that there's "room for growth" and that he needs to adjust where he, his coaches, teammates and the front office see fit.

"The consensus amongst all of us, I'm gonna' be me and that's not going to change. But in saying that, there's always a better way that something can be done, and so figuring out a better way...I'm going to play basketball the way I play basketball," Green said."

Green will return to the Golden State lineup just in time for the team's final In-Season Tournament against the Kings at Golden 1 Center on Tuesday. The four-time All-Star has a history with Sacramento big Domantas Sabonis, having been suspended for Game 3 of the teams' 2023 first-round playoff series after an incident in Game 2.

Green's lack of availability hasn't aided in the Warriors' underwhelming 8-9 start to the season. He's played in just nine games so far, having missed the opening two games due to an ankle sprain suffered before training camp.

Golden State's defense has suffered as a result, ranking 14th on that end of the floor over the season and 21st across the five games of Green's suspension. The Warriors went 2-3 in his absence, including a last start win against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.

Green has averaged 8.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 22.2 minutes per game. He was on a minutes restriction for multiple games after returning from an ankle injury at the start of the season.