Draymond Green on Defensive Player of the Year: 'I Need That Bad'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 1, 2018

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) celebrates after scoring against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Despite already having an NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award on his mantle, Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has made it his mission to add a second one this season.

Per ESPN.com's Nick Friedell, Green explained after the Warriors' 131-121 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday why he needs to be regarded as the NBA's best defender. 

"I need that," he said. "I need that bad. Real bad. I made second-team all-defense last year. I'm pissed about that still. I'll be pissed until I right that, so that's a serious goal of mine this year. And I'm on it every night."

Green was previously named 2016-17 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He finished second to Kawhi Leonard in each of the previous two seasons but fell all the way down to sixth in the 2017-18 voting. 

Last season also marked the first time since 2013-14 that Green wasn't on the NBA's All-Defensive First Team. Advanced metrics indicated the 28-year-old wasn't as effective on defense last year. His 3.4 defensive win shares and 2.7 defensive box plus-minus were his lowest totals since he was a rookie, per Basketball-Reference.com

In addition to Green's desire to be regarded as a defensive stopper, there are potential contract ramifications for him. 

Citing ESPN's Bobby Marks, Friedell noted Green would be eligible for the supermax extension worth $235 million over five years starting in 2020 if he wins the award or is named to the All-NBA team this season. 

Through nine games this season, Green is averaging 7.2 rebounds, two steals and 0.8 blocks. He won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2019-20 campaign.