Draymond Green: "Fighting for a play-in spot does not motivate me. We're in what — 10th?…Nah. I want to win every game I play in because I hate losing. That shit really bothers me. That's what motivates me. Not fighting for some play-in spot." pic.twitter.com/bR9sOZI91z
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 2, 2021
^Apologies for video quality, Zoom conference lagged.
If you went to the NBA Finals for five-straight years and one three out of those five years, would a 10th-placed play-in game to get into the playoffs motivate you? Not for Draymond Green.
What’s interesting about Green at this stage of his career, now 31, is not that openness that’s always defined him when talking to the media. But it’s how that openness has revealed a shift in approach with his age. His core motivation, he said, hasn’t changed. But he’s operating with the knowledge that it’s not just about winning at all costs.
“I focus on how can I help develop these young guys quicker. How can I help them any way I can, help get them to where we need them to be in order to win at a high level?” Green said. “I just try to put my focus into that, helping these guys because if I put my focus into solely just winning, then I’ll be pissed off and I probably won’t help these guys the way I need to help them.”
Green stated multiple times that he’s not motivated by the play-in spot. Not at this age. The Warriors (23-25) currently sit in that final play-in spot at 10th.
“I’ll be 100 percent honest with you,” Green said. “Fighting for a play-in spot does not motivate me. We’re in, what, 10th? Yeah. Fighting for a playoff spot doesn’t motivate me at all. Like, I don’t go into these games thinking, ‘Oh, okay, write that on the fridge, we need to win these games for this play-in spot.’ No.
I want to win every game I play in because I hate losing. That shit really bothers me. So that’s what motivates me. Not fighting for some play-in spot…
I step on the court and I’m gonna give 110 percent whether it’s a play-in game. But no play-in game is gonna motivate me at this point in my career.”
Take that how you will, but there’s never been question about Green’s effort on the court. Thursday night’s 116-109 loss to the Heat was just about as aggressive as he’s been all year, scoring 16 points along with 10 rebounds and 8 assists. It’s framing; he’s motivated by not losing, and trying to get his teammates up to speed quickly; and not sacrificing their development for short-term wins.