The general consensus goes something like this; Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are the best Warriors’ players, 1 and 1A in whatever order you want, however, Draymond Green is the most important because his defensive versatility lets them play small and still defend at an elite level.
Hall of Dennis Rodman sees things differently.
Rodman sees everything differently, sometimes seemingly through a haze. But he was on CBSSports.com’s “Reiter Than You” with Bill Reiter and was saying some odd stuff (hat tip James Herbert of Eye on Basketball):
“You know what, Steph Curry has took a step back,” Rodman said. “And it’s cool. It’s actually cool because if you see his game now, I always said with that Golden State team, I always say one thing: that one player is the player right there that makes that team. Who is that player?…
“That is right there: Thompson,” Rodman said. “That kid right there is good. If he went to another team, he’d suck. What I’m saying is that Klay Thompson makes that team. Everybody’s always worried about Curry. I know Curry’s dad and all that bulls—. But Klay Thompson makes that team. It ain’t Green, that guy, no. It’s Klay Thompson.”
There’s a lot or rambling and nonsense to unpack there. Starting with, Stephen Curry himself will have none of Rodman’s “step back” ideas. Curry called the idea “comical,” which seems fitting here. Curry is having a fantastic season, one that could get him a few bottom of the ballot MVP votes, it’s just not the superhuman year he had last year.
Also, “if he went to another team, he’d suck?” He means Thompson? Um, no. Is he saying the ability to shoot the ball will not translate to another team? Yes, Thompson gets better looks with Golden State because of the gravity of Curry/Durant drawing defenders, but I can guarantee you 29 other teams would be willing to test the “Thompson sucks outside Golden State” theory.
I tend to buy the “Green is most important to the team” theory because while we all talk about the Warriors offense they have the second best defense in the NBA this season (and it’s been at the top for a few years), and that all starts with Green. He’s a Defensive Player of the Year candidate for a reason.
That’s not to sell Thompson short, Golden State isn’t quite the same without any of the big four. No shooter on that team can get as hot for a short stretch (a quarter, a game) as Thompson. But the rest of it is just Rodman being Rodman.