This season, the Golden State Warriors have the best defense in the NBA and by almost two full points of net rating over the second-place Clippers.
Draymond Green is at the heart of that, quarterbacking the Warriors’ defense, protecting the rim, and locking guys down when needed. Green made his own statement in the Golden State win over Brooklyn, matching up against Kevin Durant and holding him to 19 points on 19 shots.
Green won Defensive Player of the Year back in 2017 (during the peak Warriors years) and said he wants to win it again — and his kids are his motivation. From NBC Sports Bay Area.
Draymond wants to show his kids how good he is at basketball 💙 pic.twitter.com/9l8pWgzytU
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) November 22, 2021
“My son is getting older, my oldest daughter, she’s seven now,” Draymond continued. “They kind of get on my ass if we lose, so that’s motivation. And I think for me, also, I’ve been s**** the last couple of years, so my kids don’t really understand how good I am. And I want them to see how good I am so that they’ll have an understanding. So that is motivation for me…
“When I was playing at the top of my level, which I’m getting back to that now, they were (ages) three and one. So that is motivating to me, to play well in front of them so that they have an understanding of what I do. Most importantly, I want to win, I want to be Defensive Player of the Year again, and I want to be an All-Star again. That is motivating for me because a lot of people had counted me out. Same mistake people made before when I first came into the league.”
NBA players find their motivation everywhere. Even at home, sometimes.
How many All-Stars will the Warriors have this season? Fans will vote Stephen Curry in as a starter (which is well deserved), but the coaches pick the reserves and that’s where Green falls in. Green is averaging 7.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.6 assists a game — good numbers but not the eye-popping kind that often goes with All-Star nods. That said, the coaches see what Green is doing defensively and they will want to reward the Warriors’ hot start with more than one player on the team.
It’s too early in the season to have a serious discussion of end-of-season awards (we’re not even a quarter of the way in yet), but Green would be in the mix for DPOY at this point. He’s the best defender on the best defensive team in the league.
Whatever is motivating him, Green is having his best season since he was an All-Star, and a nod could be coming his way again.