Wayne Ellington: Draymond Green's McGruder Comments 'Fake Tough Guy Stuff'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2021

Detroit Pistons guard Wayne Ellington controls the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The NBA apparently has a lot of fake tough guys.

After Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green accused Detroit Pistons wing Rodney McGruder of acting like a "tough guy" following a postgame exchange between McGruder and Juan Toscano-Anderson, Detroit's Wayne Ellington responded:

Omari Sankofa II @omarisankofa

Wayne Ellington on the Warriors' comments last night: "First of all, I think it's very unprofessional and definitely not classy for someone to attack Rodney's career ... he's one of the most hardworking and humble, down to earth guys we have in this league."

Omari Sankofa II @omarisankofa

Ellington: "I’m only going to talk about that situation once, man, and put it behind us, but I thought it was unfair for those guys to attack my man like that, and I appreciate Rod and I love him like a brother for whatever he did do, that I know wasn’t 'tough guy' stuff."

Here were Draymond's (NSFW) comments on the exchange:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

“When the f--k Rodney McGruder become the tough guy of the team? … Ain’t nobody scared of no damn Rodney McGruder. F--kin’ kidding me?” Draymond went off 😳 *NSFW* (via @KNBR) https://t.co/ZfjAdIPl07

Klay Thompson also had a few thoughts on McGruder from the broadcast booth:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Klay clowned Rodney McGruder after the game: “This dude might be out the league soon, he’s probably mad about that” 💀 https://t.co/2VqGzqXQ4m

Per Green's comments, McGruder was "taking up for Wayne Ellington" when he began jawing with Toscano-Anderson and the Warriors bench after the game:

"Also I think it was something Juan said in the first or second quarter to Wayne Ellington. You ain't got nothing better to do that you're still thinking of something from the first or second quarter when you weren't in the game. So apparently, Wayne Ellington must have went over to the bench. I guess he went and told Rodney McGruder because he hadn't been in the game. Yeah, I don't know."

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell

Pistons swingman Rodney McGruder just went all the way down near the Warriors tunnel after the game and was yelling at some Warriors players as they made their way off the floor. He had to be pushed back a couple times by Pistons staffers because he was getting heated.

So there is no love lost between the Warriors (11-9) and Pistons (5-15). 

Trash talk is commonplace in the NBA, but for Green and Thompson to so publicly and savagely rip McGruder—who is averaging 2.8 points in five minutes per game (four total appearances) for the bottom-feeding Pistons—felt a little more malicious than most back-and-forths.

Clearly, McGruder said something to Toscano-Anderson that the pair couldn't abide. Regardless, it's made for an entertaining spectacle for the rest of us.