Draymond Green recently made a statement in which he claimed he is the best defender in NBA history. That obviously caused a lot of reaction from former NBA players like Tony Allen, with whom he got into an argument on Twitter. Chris Webber also shared his opinion on this debate, and NBA fans, in general, bashed the idea that Draymond is the best defender in NBA history. That doesn’t necessarily mean he is not a great defender, which he is, and Draymond proved it multiple times in his career, showcasing he can guard multiple positions on the court.
Even former NBA player Baron Davis got into this debate, and in an interview for the Dubs Talk podcast, he shared his thoughts on the subject. Davis believes Draymond has the absolute right to say whatever he wants to say, and if he thinks he is the best defender, that is his right. Draymond has the accolades to showcase for his greatness on defense which is the most important thing.
“He’s not supposed to say he not, you know what I mean? Draymond Green is playing right now, and the things he is doing, he has the accolades, he has the stats to back it up. He has the mouth to back it up, he’s got the game to back it up. So in no way shape or form is he going to say he is second.”Baron Davis, via Dubs Talk
Even though Davis respects Draymond, he doesn’t think he comes nowhere close to being the greatest defender in NBA history. Even though Draymond is versatile and can defend multiple positions, there is no way he would lock down some of the big centers or power forwards from the past. It’s also questionable how Draymond would fare against explosive small forwards that could easily blow by him and at the same time have enough power to match up with him physically.
“As far as ranking him defensively, I think in his era, he is one of the primary guys. All-time? No, I don’t think so. When you start talking about all-time, it’s like, there ain’t no stats for that s–t! You really got to say though, if you’re the greatest defender of all-time, I mean you’re 6-foot-8, would you have been able to stop Tim Duncan? Would you have been able to stop Dirk Nowitzki? Would you have been able to stop Tracy McGrady? Would you have been able to stop [Michael] Jordan? “The greatest defender of all-time is a lot, but I like Draymond Green because he putting a lot on it. He made those statements for himself, ain’t for nobody else but for him.”Baron Davis, via Dubs Talk
Davis also remembered an instance when he played against Draymond at UCLA and proclaimed there is no way he would be able to guard him. According to Davis, he locked up Draymond on defense and made his life extremely hard that day, especially when it came down to scoring points. Davis is smaller than Draymond, but he contained Draymond with his strong upper body while talking a lot of trash to him while doing it.
“As far as ranking him, I think he is one of the best of his era. Can Draymond Green guard me? Absolutely not. He couldn’t stop me in the summer league at UCLA two years ago, he got mad at me. I was locking him up, I was saying I was the ‘Baby Draymond’. He kept calling fouls, but he can’t score on me. He tried to post me up, and I kept yelling, “I’m Baby Draymond!” and he was getting pissed.Baron Davis, via Dubs Talk
There is no doubt Draymond is a great and versatile defender, and nobody is taking that away from him. On top of that, his career is still ongoing, and he can still make an impact that will potentially solidify him as one of the greatest defenders in NBA history. However, Draymond rarely faced dominant players in the post, like Tim Duncan or Shaquille O’Neal, and honestly, that wouldn’t end well for him because they would probably score 30, 40 points on him with ease. That is the reality, and Draymond is somewhat lucky he doesn’t have to deal with those types of players in the NBA today.