As ever, Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green is unafraid to speak out and, when he does, it usually comes with a flair uniquely his. Such was the case again when he appeared on the January 28 episode of retired baller JJ Redick’s podcast, The Old Man and the Three.
During the guest shot, Green waxed philosophical on a variety of topics, including his thoughts on Redick’s Lob City teams, rumors that he called Kevin Durant while crying in the parking lot after his squad’s NBA Finals loss in 2016 and much more.
Among the many subjects that were broached, Green’s recounting of his infamous tussle with LeBron James during Game 4 of those aforementioned Finals — and the suspension that resulted — stands out.
Fan theory suggests that if the kerfuffle had never occurred, the Warriors would have won the title that year. However, Green took things a step further on the pod. As he sees it, he would have received a major award for his efforts as well, and his hoops legacy would be looked at in an entirely different light today.
Draymond: ‘I Would Have Been Finals MVP’
As Green sees it, if he hadn’t retaliated when James stepped over him during the waning moments of Game 4 — a move which resulted in the accumulation of his fourth flagrant foul point in the playoffs, triggering the suspension — the Warriors wouldn’t have blown their 3-1 lead and he would have been honored as the series’ best player.
“I think the one thing, when I look back on it, that bothers me is I would have been the Finals MVP,” Green opined. “And that totally changes the narrative — good luck leaving me off the NBA 75 if I was Finals MVP. Good luck even having to debate if I’m a Hall of Famer or not if I was Finals MVP…”
At that point, Redick interjected that there really isn’t (or, at least, there shouldn’t be) a debate about his HOF credentials at this point.
“I don’t think so either, but who knows?” Green responded. “Right? Like, is it certain? I don’t know, but I think I win Finals MVP in that series and there’s no debate on anything and everybody can shut the hell up. So, if anything it’s that.”
He added, “When I look back on that from a selfish standpoint — which I rarely do — I would have been Finals MVP and that changes the course of everything.”
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He May Not Be Wrong
Splash Brothers notwithstanding, Green may not be wrong about his 2016 Finals appearance being trophy-worthy. While playing a whopping 40 minutes a night over his six-game run, the Warriors big man averaged 16.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. He also boasted shooting splits of 49-41-78.
However, the biggest number might be this: the Warriors were 17.6 points per 100 possessions better when Green was on the court during the series.