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Danny Green: Reports about his injury are twisting his words

A story from Green’s podcast has turned into another attack on the Spurs medical staff.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe this is why the Spurs don’t allow players to do their own podcasts. In the latest “bombshell” report tied to the Spurs’ “fallout” from the Kawhi Leonard saga, Bleacher Report posted an article based on the first episode of former Spur Danny Green‘s new podcast: “Inside the Green Room with Danny Green” (which coincidentally or not came out within a week of him being traded to the Toronto Raptors.) You can click on the link or listen below.

From the 14:25 to 17:30 mark, Green discusses how his end-of-season physical revealed a torn groin: the result of a strained groin he suffered during the Spurs’ December win over the Boston Celtics. As a result, Bleacher Report (among others) ran with the following headline:

Danny Green Says He Played with Groin Injury, Tear Undetected by Spurs

As evidenced by its contents, this obviously plays into the narrative stirred up by the alleged (but unproven) “misdiagnosis” of Leonard’s quad that reportedly led to his downfall with the Spurs, which is the Spurs doctors might be losing their touch (and maybe even costing the team players). But let’s look back on Green’s actual words in their entirety before jumping to such damning conclusions.

After a few weeks of rehab and Green being in and out of the line-up depending on whether it was a good or bad day (he missed ten of the next 16 games following the injury, including five straight):

“They said maybe you should get it checked. My agent said maybe you should get a second opinion. I didn’t want to because I have full faith and believe in the Spurs staff. They’ve always been great to me, they’ve always done right be me, and they’ve always done a helluva job. Throughout the season we’ve monitored it, but we never went back to check on it again because so many other injuries have happened, and I should have gotten a second opinion…not saying that the Spurs staff is not up to par, it’s just that not everyone is a specialist in every area…

“At the end of the season, I come to find out it could have happened that day or that playoff series against GS, but we don’t know. At the end of the season I had to get another MRI because you get your exit physicals, and the strain was still there with a full tear. Since then, I’ve been rehabbing it, and now they’ve passed that information on to Toronto. We don’t know how long I’ve been playing with this strain (he probably meant tear) or when it happened…a second opinion could have helped, but they did a great job. They did everything they could, but I think it would have been nice to see a specialist just to see if there was another angle or another view.

“You could tell my play deteriorated towards the end of the season, I wasn’t the same, but in my competitive nature I didn’t want to leave the floor. I didn’t want to leave the floor regardless, and I felt that pressure that we needed to win. We needed everybody, and if I wasn’t playing we really didn’t have much of a shot. If Kawhi’s not playing, we have less of a shot. We missed a couple of other starters and myself. I probably should have sat out, waited, took some time, or did another evaluation, gotten a second opinion, but we’re doing that now.”

That last paragraph is crucial. He knew he had a strained groin that needed more time to heal, chose not to get a second opinion even after being advised to do so, and made his own decision that he would play through the pain to help the team.

Plus, as he said, his groin could have torn the day he walked in for the physical for all he knew, but it was not torn at the time of his original MRI in December. This wasn’t an undetected or misdiagnosed injury by the Spurs doctors; it was a decision by Green to keep playing on a risky injury and not get it frequently checked.

And lest anyone think this is nothing but a rebuttal formed through Spurs-colored glasses, Green himself retweeted the following two tweets:

Update: He also had the following response to another tweet:

Since the Spurs (and their medical staff) have been the golden standard of professional sports for over two decades, it’s understandable why some might enjoy finally getting a chance to pile on them. However, facts are of the utmost importance, and in this case the facts don’t support the kind of criticism the Spurs are receiving.