Warriors Star Draymond Green Reveals the 1 Player He Could Never Guard

Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

For the better part of the last decade, the Golden State Warriors have seemed like an unstoppable force. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green have dominated the NBA unlike any team since Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

And in turn with their dominance, Green has proven to be one of the greatest defenders in league history. He’s made seven All-Defensive Teams and won the Defensive Player of the Year for the 2016-17 season. But just because he’s a great defender doesn’t mean he’s perfect.

During the latest edition of his podcast, The Draymond Green Show, Green was asked which non-superstar NBA player has given him the most trouble over the years. And without hesitation, Green named big man Taj Gibson as that player.

“Non-superstar that I have [had] trouble guarding my whole career is Taj Gibson,” Green revealed. “I feel like everyone in their career has one guy that is a d*** good basketball player, but to the world, you just, like, ‘oh man, he does X, Y, and Z’ or ‘X,’ or whatever. Or, in your mind, you may not think like ‘oh man, he’s this superstar.’ And I think for me, that person has always been Taj Gibson.”

As of now, Gibson is a 13-year NBA veteran and holds career averages of 9.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.0 assists on 51.8% shooting from the field.

The Warriors forward thinks his trouble guarding Gibson stem from an encounter they had in college.

Green Locked Up Gibson in College

During the explanation of his answer, Green stated that he had the chance to guard Gibson in college. When Michigan State’s starting center got into foul trouble, Green went into the game and locked Gibson up.

“I played Taj Gibson in college. I was a freshman and it was his last year of school, I’m not sure which year of college he was, but I know it was his last year of school, and then he went to the NBA Draft,” Green explained. “And our starting center, Goran Suton, got in foul trouble, and so I came off the bench, and I had to guard Taj, and I was locking that s*** up. Now, Taj, I don’t know if y’all remember Taj at USC, but Taj at USC was serious. By the way, Taj is still playing, has had an incredible NBA career, but Taj at USC was different. And I went in, chubby, pudgy freshman, and I was locking it up. And I felt like, and that game, you might’ve heard it with DeMar [DeRozan, when he joined the show], that game, DeMar and Taj played together, for those of y’all that don’t remember, that was their last college game. And I kind of made it a little tough on Taj. I was fronting, I was doing the whole thing, mixing the coverage up and everything.”

Dray answers fan questions on Steph Curry, LeBron, KD, The New Media & more | Draymond Green ShowOn a mailbag edition of 'The Draymond Green Show,' Dray answers questions on his favorite jerseys, Carmelo Anthony vs. Kevin Durant, his favorite Steph and Klay moments, who should start a 'New Media' career, players he has trouble guarding, his favorite players to watch, his all-time starting five, and much more. Timeline: 00:00 – Start…2022-08-11T14:15:02Z

Since Green got in the way of Gibson’s final college game, he thinks the veteran center always had it out for him.

Gibson Forced Green to Switch

Green is one of the toughest players in the league, and as he mentions, he’ll never ask to switch or for a double team. However, in Green’s second year in the league, Gibson forced the Warriors to switch Green’s defensive assignment.

“I think Taj remembered that [Green locking him up in college], because every chance he got to play against me after that, he would destroy me. I remember my second year, and I’m never asking for no switch. I ain’t asking for no double team. You just gonna have to destroy me. That’s just what it’s going to be. I had to switch with Jermaine O’Neal because I couldn’t stop Taj. And I knew it, I was like, ‘this dude’s got my number, I can’t quite stop him.’ And Jermaine O’Neal had to guard him. So, that guy for me, non-superstar, is Taj Gibson for sure,” said Green.

So, while Green may be able to defend the best players in the world, he’s always had trouble guarding Gibson, which is a very entertaining story to hear, especially from the man himself.

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