For the better part of the last decade, the Golden State Warriors have wreaked havoc on the rest of the NBA. They’ve won four of the last eight championships, and they could have potentially won more if they hadn’t been dealt a rough hand with injuries.
During that time period, some of their players made big names for themselves, too. Stephen Curry is widely considered the greatest shooter of all time, Klay Thompson has become beloved throughout the league due to his amazing comeback efforts and Steve Kerr has managed to become one of the most winningest players in league history.
And all that is without mentioning Draymond Green, who has quickly become one of the most controversial players in the NBA, both for his play and his actions off the court. But the Warriors don’t think there should be any controversy. In fact, on August 29 they made an emphatic statement about their star on Twitter.
“BEST 👏 DEFENDER 👏 IN 👏 THE 👏 WORLD,” they tweeted alongside a video of some of Green’s highlights.
The Warriors aren’t the only ones who believe this statement. In fact, Green has made a similar claim himself.
Green: ‘Best Defender to Ever Play’
While the Warriors made the claim that Green is the best defender in the world right now, the forward said on a March 2021 episode of the “Dubs Talk” podcast that he’s the best defender in the history of the NBA.
“I think I’m the best defender to ever play in the NBA,” Green said on the podcast. “I stand by that. I’d put myself up against anyone.”
Such a bold claim might be taken the wrong way if it weren’t for Green’s absolute dominance. Despite only having one Defensive Player of the Year trophy to his name, Green has been the anchor of Golden State’s defense since their 2010s dominance. Selected in the second round of the 2012 NBA draft, the Michigan State product has earned All-NBA defensive first or second-team honors on seven occasions, including in each of Golden State’s four championship campaigns over the past decade.
Green: ‘I View the Game a Lot Differently’
Most people look at blocks and steals as the primary factors when measuring a great defender, and nowadays, some even account for defensive field goal percentage and defensive rating. However, Green believes that the things that cannot be measured by stats are the most important.
“I also think I view the game a lot differently than most people view the game because I think I just see it from a different perspective,” Green said on the podcast. “I think when you look at the things that make a good defender: Reaction time, toughness, being able to see the picture long before it develops, and most importantly, in order to finish a defensive possession, you got to rebound, and I think I rebound well.”
So, while the debate over who the best defender in NBA history is will always be a subjective one, it’s an argument that Green and the Warriors can absolutely agree on.