Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green was the 2016-17 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He’s not up for that award at this season, as the NBA released its most recent finalists list for its end of season awards on Friday. However, that doesn’t change the fact that Green believes he is the best defender of all time.
Speaking to The Athletic after Thursday’s Game 2 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, Green told Marcus Thompson that he believes he is the best defender ever.
Via The Athletic:
“The best ever defender?” Green said after the Warriors held Portland to 46 points on 38.5 percent shooting in the second half in Thursday’s 114-111 win in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.
The best defender ever?
“Me.” Green punctuated his declaration with a nod as he strutted out of the locker room with a smile. But he wasn’t joking. “That’s what I believe. Wholeheartedly.”
Green has certainly been one of the most important defenders of all-time, and his value in the Golden State system cannot be understated. On Thursday, he allowed the Warriors to get away with playing a smaller lineup while still being able to defend a legitimate 7-footer in Meyers Leonard — from the 3-point line to the restricted area — down the stretch.
Of course Scottie Pippen, no slouch on the defensive side of the ball himself, had something to say about that. Speaking on ESPN’s The Jump on Friday, Pippen said he didn’t consider Green to be the best defender ever because he wasn’t the type of guy that you put on the best opposing player in crunch time.
I’m not sure that’s always been the case, and the whole idea of what the “best” defender means is up for debate. Green can think he is the best ever, and we can debate about it, because we will never be able to know for certain.