Steve Kerr Calls Draymond Green 'Best Defender in the World' After Warriors Beat Suns

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVDecember 4, 2021

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) reacts after being called for a foul during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in San Francisco, Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr praised forward Draymond Green after the Dubs ended the Phoenix Suns' 18-game winning streak with a 118-96 victory Friday night.

"He's the best defender in the world," Kerr told reporters of Green, who finished the contest with nine defensive rebounds, six steals and three blocks in 30 minutes. He also scored nine points and dished out nine assists at the offensive end.

StatMuse @statmuse

Draymond with a Draymond-esque stat line:<br><br>9 PTS<br>9 REB<br>9 AST<br>6 STL<br>3 BLK<br><br>No one has had that exact statline since 1985 (furthest back our complete data for steals go). <a href="https://t.co/UTyysa9pJM">pic.twitter.com/UTyysa9pJM</a>

Green already owns countless accolades related to his all-world defense, including the 2016-17 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award and four All-Defensive First Team selections, but it seems the 31-year-old Michigan State product is only getting better with age.

"The beauty of Draymond's defensive acumen is the versatility even within one possession, the versatility that he shows in terms of switching onto different people, recognizing screens, recognizing cut, recognizing whatever the pattern is—and blowing it up from multiple positions," Kerr said.

Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson noted defensive brilliance often doesn't get the same outside attention as offensive success because it's "not sexy," but other players take note.

"I watch him all the time and I'm just, 'Damn, that's impressive.' Kudos to Draymond. Hall of Famer for a reason," Toscano-Anderson said. "It's dope. I respect his game and respect guys that are dominating at this game and he's dominating the hell out of the game on the defensive end. It's a lot of fun to watch. It's a tutorial for me."

On Friday, Green was the driving force behind a Warriors defense that held the red-hot Suns to just 38.3 percent shooting from the field.

His success extends beyond Golden State, too. He's been a vital element of the last two Team USA Olympic rosters both as a defensive stalwart and a locker-room leader en route to gold medals at the 2016 and 2020 Games.

As Toscano-Anderson alluded, Green is a lock for the Hall of Fame whenever his playing days come to a close. For now, he's focused on trying to win a fourth championship ring.

Golden State (19-3) sure looks like a top-tier title contender in the early going. It's back in action Saturday night when it hosts the San Antonio Spurs (7-13) at the Chase Center.