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Warriors’ Draymond Green signs deal with Turner Sports while still active in NBA

A Turner Sports executive praised Draymond Green for his “keen basketball IQ, charismatic delivery and forthright, thoughtful opinions that include and extend beyond sports.” (Jeff Chiu/AP)
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Most athletes wait until their playing days are over to work as analysts for major media companies, but most athletes aren’t Draymond Green. The outspoken Golden State Warriors forward has entered into a formal, exclusive multiyear arrangement with Turner Sports, the company announced Thursday.

Green, 31, is sidelined with a back issue, but that could be to his new employer’s temporary benefit because it freed him up to appear on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” Thursday evening — just in time to discuss a game between his Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves. A three-time all-star and three-time NBA champion, Green may also be asked for his take on the announcement earlier in the evening of this year’s all-star starters.

Turner Sports said that in addition to making appearances during the rest of the season on “Inside the NBA,” Green will also contribute to some of its other platforms. He has previously served as a guest analyst for TNT, including during the 2020 NBA playoffs, and has been a panel member for discussions related to TNT’s “The Arena.”

“I’ve had an amazing experience working with Turner Sports in recent years and I’m a big believer in the way they entertain and genuinely connect with fans on all levels,” Green said in a statement. “Today’s announcement helps to formalize our relationship and I couldn’t be prouder to officially be a part of the … TNT family.”

Tara August, Turner sports’ senior vice president for talent services and special projects, praised Green as “an incredibly versatile talent, both on the court and in front of the camera.”

“He’s a team player in every sense,” she said in a statement, “while offering a distinct perspective that is highlighted by his keen basketball IQ, charismatic delivery and forthright, thoughtful opinions that include and extend beyond sports.”

In February, August compared Green to NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, who became a star and prominent media personality at TNT.

“He really isn’t trying to go after anyone — he’s just speaking his mind about what he sees, and he’s okay with people agreeing with it or not, much in the same way that Charles has always been,” August told The Athletic last year. “He’s just authentic and comfortable in his own skin and really has a great mind in watching the game. We really think he’s got great potential long-term.”

With Barkley turning 59 next month, Green could be groomed as his eventual replacement on “Inside the NBA,” a popular studio show that also features Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and host Ernie Johnson. For now, per Turner, Green will join them in person and remotely as his schedule permits.

Given how well Green has played this season, there’s little reason to think that his NBA career will end anytime soon. His .153 mark in win shares per 48 minutes is his highest since the 2016-17 season, and his 35-13 Warriors look like a strong contender to win their first championship since 2018. In addition, a contract Green signed in 2019 that is worth almost $100 million still has two years to go, including a $27.6 million player option for the 2023-24 season.

One possible point of concern, though, is Green’s back injury. He’s been out for almost all of Golden State’s past 11 games, during which it has gone 6-5. He is scheduled for a reexamination by the end of the month.

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