The Golden State Warriors wouldn’t be who they are today without the high quality of drafting they were able to do in previous seasons. Being able to land two-time MVP Steph Curry, All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson, and former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green is nothing to scoff at.
Even more so, it’s a much harder task to then develop those players to become as good as they have been. Many high draft picks, even some that are currently Warriors players, don’t necessarily pan out to be as good as advertised.
That was almost the case for one of the Warriors stars. After being the 35th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Green “was almost out of the league” according to one of his former teammates.
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Andrew Bogut Reveals What Changed for Draymond Green
Coming into the league, Green was played primarily at small forward. Being somewhat undersized to play power forward with the bigger players in the NBA, it was almost the primary reason why he found himself out of the league.
That is until Golden State had a coaching change. Former Warriors center Andrew Bogut joined the show “Damon, Ratto and Kolsky” on 95.7 The Game and went into detail about how Green’s time as a Warrior almost concluded.
“(Green) was almost out of the league,” Bogut stated. “A lot of people don’t realize, (former Warriors coach) Mark Jackson tried to play him at the three more than the four and it wasn’t his natural position.”
“He struggled his rookie year to find what his role was in the NBA and within the team. Once he got that opportunity from Steve [Kerr], it kind of all changed. He’s the first to tell you, he was almost on a plane to Europe with the way he was being played earlier in his career.”–
Green Became ‘Vital’ to Championship Winning Teams
Luckily for Green, and the Warriors, he was given an opportunity to play significant minutes and superseded expectations. He went from starting in 13 games over two seasons to becoming one of the best defenders in the NBA and helping the organization win multiple championships.
Not many players can find themselves after having such humble beginnings. Being on the verge of no longer playing in the NBA can become a very hard reality. Bogut elaborated on what his relationship with Green is and what he expects to see next in his career.
“To bounce back as a player who is earning the salary he has, all-defensive team, he’s been a vital part of winning championships. It’s a great story.”
“We still text back and forth from time to time. I’m not going to lie, we definitely got into every now and then,” Bogut quipped. “Draymond’s that kind of guy, where he’s going to get into it if he thinks that bulls*** is going on. I’m the same. We had disagreements at times during games, at practice, but we’re pretty good friends. We both have a pretty fond love for playing poker, so we played poker on the plane a lot. Our relationship is great.”
“His journey itself is such an unbelievable one. “Hopefully he writes a book one day or does a podcast kind of like I’m doing.”