Injuries are perhaps the worst thing about sports. While players and teams do their best to stay healthy throughout the year, that’s typically not a realistic proposition. That’s especially true in the NBA, where collisions, breaks, sprains, and hard falls happen all the time.
This article takes a wide look at injuries in the league with a specific focus on Draymond Green’s personal injury history. That will show both how he’s managed to stay relatively healthy during his career, and how that healthiness helped him become an all-time great.
The Importance of Health
Before looking at Green’s injuries, it’s first important to understand how injuries can affect a player’s career. There have been many, many excellent athletes who couldn’t continue to play at a high level due to a particularly nasty injury or unfortunate ailment.
Not only that, but some players (like Derrick Rose) recovered but just weren’t the same after. Being good is a huge part of professional sports, but so is never getting injured. No matter how talented a player is, they can’t help their team by sitting on the bench night after night.
Though athletes used to push through the pain and try to go out regardless how much they were hurting, times have changed. Modern medicine and a better understanding of injuries have allowed players to take more breaks and add some longevity to their careers.
Tough, Inside and Out
Draymond Green is a perfect example of someone who always puts their health first. He’s not afraid to sit when it’s needed during the regular season, especially during the middle or end of the year. He’s always ready for the playoffs, but won’t push it during the year.
That style of play has paid off for him in a big way. Draymond has played for most of every season during his ten years in the league, and that’s mostly from his ability to know when to sit out of a game or take a night off. However, it’s due to his toughness as well.
Green came into the league with a tough reputation, and that proved to be true during his first few years in the league. Not only did he avoid any serious injuries, but he rarely missed any games either.
He played in 79 games during his first season, then followed that up by playing in all 82 during his sophomore season. Not only that, but played in 79 games, 81 games, 76 games, and 70 games over the course of the next four seasons.
Most of the games he missed were due to rest more so than actual ailments, and it allowed him to be primed and ready for the Warriors deep playoff runs. However, very few people can keep up that production forever. Eventually, time caught up to the power forward.
After starting strong, he began to suffer from a range of smaller issues moving into 2018. He missed sixteen games that season. Then, he just played in 43 games in 2019, 63 in 2020, and 46 in 2021.
If you go by season to season, Green is someone who goes through a lot of small ailments. He’s had a ton of little issues, ranging from his back and wrist to his knee, neck and back. He didn’t get hit by anything at once, he just got a little at a time.
The only major issue he suffered was a back injury in 2021 that kept him out for a few months.
Draymond Green is one of the most resilient and tough players in today’s NBA. He’s not immortal, as evidenced by the games he’s missed in recent years, but he’s a strong player who knows how and when to take a break. That’s kept him going and healthy for quite a long time.