Tom Izzo Tells Draymond Green the Warriors ‘Follow Your Lead’ in Text Message Exchange

by Bryan Fyalkowski

Draymond Green’s college coach is still giving him advice, 10 years down the road.

The NBA star shared on the most recent episode of his podcast – The Draymond Green Show – that he received a helpful text message from Michigan State head men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo.

During Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Friday night, Green was in serious foul trouble throughout the contest against the Dallas Mavericks. On numerous occasions, he was seen arguing with officials and showed bad body language overall.

Green fouled out with only six points, six rebounds, five assists and four turnovers – all while posting a -19 rating in 28 minutes on the court. Despite their all-star’s struggles, the rest of the Warriors stepped up and turned a 72-58 halftime deficit into a 126-117 win and a 2-0 series lead.

When Green saw his phone after the game, he saw a text message from Izzo that read:

“Day, shaky but you got the job done. In my humble opinion, you all got caught up in the officiating. You’ve got to realize that you’re the leader and many follow. That being said, you hit a big 3-point shot and a couple of big stops were key. They follow your lead, but you’re still up 2-0. Good luck, brother.”

The former Spartan agreed and was appreciative of the feedback from the 27-year coaching veteran, replying with:

“Coach, you’re 1,000 percent right. I let my emotions go overboard and the team did follow. I have to be better. But it sure does feel good to win.”

He went on to joke on his podcast that it was among the nicest messages Izzo has sent him as constructive criticism. Green said normally he would just tell him he was “terrible.”

Sparty Success for Green and Izzo

Green played for Izzo and the Spartans from 2008-2012. During Green’s time in East Lansing, Michigan State went 107-39 overall with four NCAA Tournament appearances. The team hung back-to-back Final Four banners following the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Izzo must still know how to push Green’s buttons, because he responded with a more solid performance in Game 3, which was also a Golden State win. He had 10 points, five rebounds, five assists and three turnovers – while posting a +19 rating – in 37 minutes of playing time. The Warriors lead the series 3-0 and have a chance to sweep the Mavericks tonight in Dallas.

Tip-off for Game 4 is at 8 p.m. CT. and will be broadcasted on TNT.