Warriors' Draymond Green Believes He's 'The Best Defender to Ever Play' in NBA

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2021

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) celebrates after scoring a 3-point basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green rates himself highly when assessing his defensive abilities. 

"I think I'm the best defender to ever play in the NBA," Green said on the Dubs Talk podcast (via Grant Liffman of NBC Sports). "I stand by that that. I'd put myself up against anyone."

Green was the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 2016-17 and has been named to the All-Defensive team five teams, including three first-team selections. 

The 31-year-old believes he is an even better defender than his resume indicates.

Many of the top defenders across history are considered either top rim protectors like Bill Russell, Dikembe Mutombo and Hakeem Olajuwon or rack up steals like Michael Jordan or Gary Payton. 

Green is consistent in both areas yet averages just 1.4 steals and 1.0 block per game during his career. The 6'6" forward also doesn't necessarily have the physical tools that make him a tough matchup inside or out.

The three-time All-Star believes his other attributes make up for it.

"I think when you look at the things that make a good defender: reaction time, toughness, being able to see the picture long before it develops and, most importantly, in order to finish a defensive possession, you got to rebound, and I think I rebound well," Green said.

"When I look at all the facets that make up the defensive side of the ball, I think I'm great in every facet that makes up that side of the ball."

Green's comments led to an exchange with former NBA player Tony Allen, who was named All-Defensive first team three times and All-Defensive second team three times as well:

Draymond Green @Money23Green

I was waiting on you to stamp me Big homie, but your stamp book started running low in 2015 when we used you against your team on the way to my 1ST championship. https://t.co/mDHfltdfZ0

Tony Allen @aa000G9

Like yo stamp book now? Because it’s 4 on 5 out there right now my boy! #CallKlay 🤣 https://t.co/wOqXpb9ZqZ

The numbers don't necessarily support the assertion with his 30.87 career defensive win shares ranking just 212th in NBA history, per Basketball Reference. Green won't let that deter him from feeling he is the best ever on that end of the court.