Golden State Warriors: Why We Should All Be Rooting for Draymond Green

Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 13, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 18: Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans high fives the crowd as he runs off the court after defeating the St. Louis Billikens during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's basketball tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 18, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Golden State Warriors No. 35 pick Draymond Green appeared on KNBR 680 for a quick interview on July 12, giving Warrior fans their first chance to get to know their new rookie forward.

As a second-round pick with a game that many think may not translate to the NBA, he's already fighting an uphill battle. He's a tweener who lacks elite athleticism, and he may struggle to defend both forward positions.

Naturally, everyone loves an underdog—and Warrior fans are notorious for their fierce, occasionally blinding loyalty. Despite all that, there was still some skepticism about Green. But in a 10-minute conversation, Green won over whatever holdouts there might have been.

From the interview, we learned that Green is uniquely thoughtful. When asked about the difficulty of having his fate hang in the balance for two full hours during the NBA draft, he answered with a surprisingly philosophical perspective. Said Green:

The one thing we try to avoid in life is uncertainty. You always want to know what you've got coming up; you always want to know what's going on. And that's the entire NBA draft process—just uncertainty. So you're living a month-and-a-half, two months of your life just uncertain about what happens next. Then you get down to those last few hours...and you've just got to keep patiently waiting.

Pretty impressive, right?

Even more impressive than Green's take on the draft was the way he eased any concerns about his conditioning and work ethic. In doing so, Green gave an extremely honest self-assessment in recounting the moment when he learned what it meant to truly push himself:

The summer going into my junior year...I was doing cardio, and I just kept running and kept running, and I caught a second wind. And I was telling coach Izzo that day, 'Coach, I caught a second wind today.' I never ran hard the point where I even knew I had a second wind.

Green finished the thought by mentioning a quotation he'd read on the subject, saying, "You never know how hard or how fast you can go...unless you push yourself to that point."

That sentiment from Green is, by far, the most encouraging sign for his pro potential. He's realized at an early age that his talents could take him far, but that he would have to push himself to maximize them.

In learning that he's capable of pushing himself beyond his limits, he's shown that he's got the ability to work through the perceived shortcomings in his game. And realistically, Green is going to have to outwork most players in the league because they've got better physical tools than he does.

Draymond Green is not a typical NBA player. But maybe that's a a good thing. His introspection and honesty about his abilities could serve him well on the rough road ahead.

One thing's for sure, though: He's won me over. And we should all be rooting for Draymond Green.