The Golden State Warriors were off to a rough start to begin the 2020-21 NBA season. With their superstar, and two-time MVP, Steph Curry shooting under 30% from the three-point line, the rest of the team, including their rising star Andrew Wiggins, followed suit not being able to score as much as the team needed.
Yet all that began to change once the team’s most vocal leader, and former NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Draymond Green returned to the floor. The team’s offense began to move more fluidly and that led to Curry scoring a career-high of 62 points.
Some could attribute to Curry’s scoring flurry, and the subsequent team success, to the Warriors beginning to get their legs underneath them as they work into game shape and develop chemistry.
Yet that would massively overlook the importance Green brings to the team. One NBA Hall of Famer, and former Golden State Warrior, acknowledged this and spoke on how Green reminds him of a former Los Angeles Laker champion and legend.
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Former Warrior Compares Green to ‘Magic’ Johnson
As previously mentioned, the Warriors’ fluidity and cohesiveness on offense could be directly related to Green’s increase in minutes on the floor. He helps to lead the Warriors with a vocal, in-your-face style that can help to balance the laidback nature of Curry’s style.
One person who has noticed this is former Golden State Warrior and NBA Hall of Famer Chris Mullin. On an episode of the Dubs Talk podcast, Mullin discussed how “impressive” the team has looked since the change.
“It’s been pretty impressive the quick impact he has had on the Warriors.”
“A lot of people say it to be nice ‘oh, he can impact a game without scoring,’ but Draymond truly can.”
“He has a Magic Johnson type effect on the game. With his demonstrative energy, and his skills are very unique defensively, and offensively, being a point forward and organizing the team.”
Green Relishes Being An Elder Statesman
Organizing the team is certainly one of the responsibilities Green has. Golden State only has 3 active players who have more than 7 years of experience in the NBA, Green, Curry, and their reserve guard Kent Bazemore.
Knowing this, Green has taken the role of mentor to the younger guys, including the Warriors star rookie center James Wiseman. He feels it’s a privilege to be there and he elaborated on that with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Bob Fitzgerald and Kelenna Azubuike.
“To have the opportunity to play with a kid that’s such a special talent, 19 years old and doing the things he can do, I’m honored and privileged to try to take on the veteran leadership role for him and try to show him the way. And if I can hold up my end of the bargain, I know he’s going to hold up his and I’ll try to show him what I can and he’ll be a star.
“He’ll be a star without me, but if I can try to help him, give him all my knowledge, that’s what my vets did for me, so I owe that to him.”