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Draymond Green acknowledges he wouldn't have had the same success outside of the Warriors


Although being an integral part of one of the greatest NBA dynasties ever, people always diminish Draymond Green's greatness, saying he's a byproduct of everyone else around him. During his interview with JJ Redick on The Old Man and The Three, the Warriors star finally decided to speak to that narrative.

Draymond without Steph and Klay

Ever since Steve Kerr inserted Green into the starting lineup at the start of the 14-15 regular season -- David Lee's injury prompted him to do it -- the 6-6 forward became one of the best all-around performers in the NBA. Eight years later, as the Warriors are looking to get back on track and re-insert themselves into title contention after one of the best five-year stretches ever, Draymond is still the same guy. However, people's perception of him has changed.

In between the Warriors' 2019 Finals run and this season, the narrative went from "Draymond is the ultimate all-around basketball player" to "he's only good because he's playing with Steph and Klay." But two things can be true at the same time. And in Green's case, they are not excluded from each other.

"Could I imagine my career anywhere else? Yes, but it wouldn't be what it is," Draymond said. "Everybody always says, 'Oh, man, Draymond can't play without Steph or he can't play without Klay,' and the reality is, I've gotten accustomed to playing with Steph and Klay and Kevin when Kevin was here. But the player that I am today, I was a totally different player before I got accustomed to playing with them. The reality is, my game would have been totally different."

Would I have had the same success that I've had? I can't say yes, I can't say no, but what I will say is I don't think so.

Draymond Green, The Old Man And The Three

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The only difference is winning

It seems people have gotten way too caught up in Draymond's stats. Because if you want to judge his basketball abilities solely on numbers, the fall-off is undeniable -- he went from being a reliable double-digit scorer to averaging around 7.5 PPG on inefficient 44.7% over the last four seasons. However, Green's impact could never be measured just by looking at the box score.

This year, fans are giving him more credit than they did over the last few years. But although his efficiency did go up, if you look at his numbers, they are pretty much the same as always -- 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.4 assists on 53.7% from the field. So why doesn't he get criticized as much? For the same reason he was never criticized during the Warriors' glory days, and that's winning.

Draymond's impact on the game is best measured through the number in the team's winning column. When there is a lack thereof, Green is not the same player. The same thing would've happened if he wound up with any other losing franchise.

"I don't think the Draymond you know today would be the Draymond you'd know if I was on the Pistons or someone because you're not winning," he said. "But the way we won and the way it all clicked and meshed together and how we all have skill sets that complement each other; it's a match made in heaven."

With all the injuries Golden State had to deal with over the last few years, Draymond never got the chance to put his true value on display. Now, with Splash Brothers both healthy and on the court together, he's reminding us of a player he used to be, showing that their success is equally dependent on his presence on the floor.

"I don't think I would be the same, but I also think Klay and Steph wouldn't be the same. Now that doesn't mean they don't reach greatness, and they don't become the greatest shooters of all time; I just don't think it would have happened the way it's happened.

Draymond Green, The Old Man And The Three

You can criticize Draymond for not being able to lead a team on his own. But honestly, that's never been who he is. Even at his best, Green has been the ultimate glue guy, the one who makes the lives of those around him easier in every aspect of the game. Just as long as the Warriors are winning, he'll be appreciated for it. So let's not forget about it when they start struggling again.


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