SAN FRANCISCO – Draymond Green is the heartbeat of this Warriors team. It’s worth noting, then, when his heart is broken.
Before the Warriors’ Game 4 release Monday, Green heard the devastating news that his Michigan State teammate, Adrian Payne, was shot and killed Monday morning in Orlando, Fla.
“My feelings are everywhere,” Green said after the Warriors’ 101-98 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night. “I’m going to go home and sit and talk on my podcast, because I can stop and cry if I need to.”
Green then said that he and his wife, Hazel, would donate $100,000 to a fund in Payne’s name. He urged fellow Michigan State alums in basketball to do the same, including coaches Tom Izzo, Magic Johnson, Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson Jr.
Greene said he hopes to name a few or start a scholarship on his Michigan state campus.
“Whatever it is, I ask my Spartan family to do something in Adrienne’s name,” Green said.
Payne, who died at the age of 31, and the Greens played together during the Spartans’ 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons. Green wrote “RIP Associated Press” on his right shoe and “Long Live 5” in reference to Payne’s number at Michigan State during the game.
Acting head coach Mike Brown said the entire team felt Green’s injury during the game.
“He is our emotional heart and soul,” Brown said. “And hit something for him that was impactful to him and we felt it. We felt it as a group.”
Payne was a five-star recruit from Dayton, Ohio, who was drafted 15th overall from MSU in 2014 by the Atlanta Hawks. He had a five-year playing career with the Hawks, Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves. He also played overseas in Greece, China, Turkey, France and Lithuania.
Before entering into health and safety protocols, Steve Kerr offered his condolences to Payne’s family and the Michigan State family.
“We heard the news this morning and Drummond is crushed,” Kerr said. “Adrian and Drummond were teammates and best friends and today is just devastating news, so our condolences to the family, we are thinking of them today and yes, just so much sadness goes to everyone involved. And Drummond in particular is feeling that way. To share this before we begin.”