There are few players in basketball history that have taken as much pride in their defense as Draymond Green does. He’s certainly the most confident defender in the league, stating earlier in the season, as seen above, that he was “pissed” at the fact that he was not on the NBA All-Defensive First Team last season.
He said, “I need that, I need that bad,” in regards to chasing the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award. “I made Second Team All-Defense last year,” Green said. “I’m pissed about that. I’ll be pissed until I right that. That’s a serious goal of mine this year.”
After last night’s 114-111 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, Green was quoted in a story today by The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson putting himself at the top of the NBA’s defensive Mount Olympus.
“The best defender ever? Me,” Green said. Thompson followed up with the question. “Me,” Green reaffirmed. “That’s what I believe. Wholeheartedly.”
Green obviously has incredible competition for that status – one which is essentially impossible to decide and which will always be up for debate, and prone to generational bias. But he’s made a firm case, at least to the point where you have to really think about it.
He’s a three-time All-Star, has won the Defensive Player of the Year award, made three NBA All-Defensive First Teams, one NBA All-Defensive Second Team, made two All-NBA teams (one 2nd, one 3rd), has won three championships, and essentially changed the way teams in the NBA filled out their rosters thanks the Warriors’ small-ball lineup in 2014 in which he played the center spot and would often guard every position (and still does) over the course of the game. The fact that he’s at least in the conversation for the greatest defender of all time is an accomplishment in itself.