Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has turned into one of the best players in the NBA, but back when he was coming out of Michigan State, some people questioned whether he would succeed in the NBA.
In fact, Green dropped all the way to the Warriors in the second round of the 2012 NBA draft—at pick No. 35, to be exact. That gave the forward a serious chip on his shoulder—one he will carry throughout his career.
As Jon Wilner of the Mercury News found out recently, Green knows the name and draft slot of every player drafted ahead of him:
"First was Anthony Davis to New Orleans," he says. "Then Charlotte took (Michael) Kidd-Gilchrist. Then Washington took Bradley Beal. Fourth was Cleveland: Dion Waiters.
"Eight was Toronto: Terrence Ross ...
"Sixteen was Houston: Royce White ... "
By the time he's done, Green has reeled off the names of all 34 players selected ahead of him and the corresponding team.
Green has made the NBA All-Star team and All-Defensive first team, won the NBA title and helped the Warriors set the league's single-season wins record in his four years. Despite all of that success, he still hasn't forgotten about the doubters.
"I know why I had to wait," Green told Wilner. "I know what the scouts thought: 'He's a tweener. Who's he going to guard? He's maxed out his potential.'"
Success isn't defined by where a player gets drafted. As long as he gets a shot, it's up to the player to prove what he can do—and Green has made the most of his opportunity.
Golden State is undoubtedly thrilled it was able to pick Green when it did. After all, he has helped the Warriors become the best team in the NBA.