(Credit: The Old Man & The Three + Draymond Green)

Only a few months ago, Stephen A. Smith alleged that Draymond Green was hurting his chance to succeed Charles Barkley in the sports media world.

With his impulse control—or lack thereof—in question, Green produced more ejections than podcast episodes in late 2023, leading the First Take host to note that the NBA star was jeopardizing his media future.

While Green’s media future has been questioned because of these past incidents, there’s no denying that networks see something there. Just recently, the embattled Green hosted an NBA All-Star Game alternate broadcast alongside Barkley, the man Smith alleged was hurting his chances of succeeding.

This week at a live recording at SXSW, Smith addressed Green’s future in the media again while appearing on the Green Light Podcast with Chris Long and his younger brother, Kyle.

“I think Draymond is pretty damn good. I’ve got a lot of respect for him,” said Smith. “I just think that you gotta — even though he’s a four-time champion — you can’t just plummet into the twilight. You can fade; you can’t plummet. When people see that — out of sight, out of mind. Just like there was a model of consistency on the basketball court before that assisted you in becoming a voice off the court, you have to be that guy again.

“One of the things that disappointed me with Draymond was when he got suspended after that latest incident with (Jusuf) Nurkić; I think Draymond’s a good brother. I love him, and I root for him all the time. And he knows I’m always here for him if he needs me, but the thing that disappointed me about it is he had to take several weeks away and he disappeared. Not when you try to be New Media, you don’t get to disappear. I think that ultimately, you get held accountable for that.”

Like Ryan Clark’s comments about Green seeking counseling, it’s unlikely that Smith understands the gravitas of his words. Even if you have problems with how Green’s absence was handled, if he was genuinely trying to seek and gather help, it doesn’t make sense to needle Green for being out of the public eye. If media personalities need to take time off to improve themselves, this industry tries to encourage that and lift people. Why is Draymond different?

“If Stephen A. Smith got in trouble, I don’t get to disappear,” Smith explained. “I might go away for a weekend. I might go to the islands for a few days, but what I’m saying is I might go away for a few days. It’s literally to get some sunshine and some warm weather. It’s not to run from the problem. You don’t get to do that when you’re in the media. Because the media doesn’t let you run away, when it’s your turn, you don’t get to hide. And I’m not accusing him of literally hiding because I got too much respect for Draymond to do that.”

And then he proceeded to do as much.

“But, I’m quite sure that people advised him, ‘Take a deep breath.’ Nah, bro, own it. Own it immediately,” continued Smith. “Anybody can say the right things after you’re away for a few weeks, and you talk to the right people, and you become therapeutic and introspective in evaluating yourself and the mistakes that you’ve made. If we all had the opportunity to do that, there wouldn’t be any mistakes that were aired. You gotta show that you can do that at the moment. And that matters when you talking about New Media.”

Smith’s comments have unnerved Green before, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Golden State Warriors forward will take exception to these remarks. There’s a time and place for everything, and perhaps the new age of media has taught us that responses need to happen immediately. Still, if Green was actually seeking help, it’s not a necessity for him to be at the beck and call of the news cycle. And if it is, maybe we lost the plot along the way.

[Green Light with Chris Long]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.