Skip to main content

Draymond Green reveals what motivated him to become a great defender

The one question everyone asked that motivated Draymond to become one of the best defenders in NBA history
Draymond Green accepting the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2017

Draymond Green accepting the Defensive Player of the Year award in 

When Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green entered the league, he was already a great defender. But, NBA scouts weren’t impressed by Green’s resume. So much so that they confronted the Michigan State-product with a question that did not just bother him, but ultimately motivate him to become one of the greatest defenders of his era.

Draft stock

Green was a decorated college standout in his four-year stint in Michigan State. He was crowned ABC National Player of the Year and NABC National Player of the Year in 2012. In addition, Green was also a member of the Big Ten All-Defensive Team in the same year.

These accolades would make you think that he should at least be a lock to get selected in the first round of the draft. As we all know, he was picked 35th overall. And Green knows exactly why his draft stock plummeted and has used it for motivation ever since.

"When I came into the league, I fell in the draft because their No. 1 question was what position would I guard. That stuck with me. And I wanted to make everyone eat those words. Every team that passed me, every reporter, everybody that is anybody who has said anything about my defense at that point. I wanted them to eat them words,"

Draymond Green, NBC Sports.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

It did not take long for Green to make his doubters regret their impressions of him. In 2015, just his third year in the league, Green did not only win his first NBA title but he was also selected into the NBA All-Defensive First Team. Two years later, he was heralded Defensive Player of the Year. And more importantly, he got the respect of his peers.

Snatch the confidence

Shutting up his haters isn’t Green’s sole motivation for playing the best defense he could. There’s also great satisfaction in humbling his foe. Green knows that whenever he forces a stop — be it a steal, a tough shot, or even just breaking a play’s momentum — it affects his opponent's mental state.

"To see what playing great defense, how it can completely snatch the confidence of your opponent, that was enough for me. When you’re playing the game of basketball, when you can take the mind, everything else will follow. If you can take their mind, you can take their confidence. If you can get in their head, everything else follows. Just understanding the success I’ve been able to contribute to teams by giving all that I have on that side of the ball, that’s where it started," Green said.

There’s no question that Green is one of the greatest defenders of his era. Those who claim Green is a triple-singe master are either blind or do not understand the game. The man does so many things that can never be quantified. So whenever you look at the box score and see him with two points, six rebounds, seven assists, best believe that he did other great things on the floor.

Kyrie Irving on why he didn't get a new contract this offseason - I gave up four years, 100-something million to be unvaccinated”

Kyrie Irving on why he didn't get a new contract this offseason - I gave up four years, 100-something million to be unvaccinated”

Irving said that his decision to remain unvaccinated from COVID-19, which prevented him from playing for the Brooklyn Nets, cost him a new contract this offseason

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic

“I don’t want to disappoint him" - Nikola Jokic credits the person behind his life-changing weight loss

Nikola Jokic has entrusted his career and life to the Nuggets' strength and conditioning coach. And he didn't make a mistake.

Indiana Pacers guard Reggie Miller

“I knew immediately” — Reggie Miller on scoring 8 points in 8.9 seconds against the New York Knicks

Reggie Miller gave Knicks forward Anthony Mason some props for delivering the best chest pass he's ever seen.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green

“I don't think it will happen” — Draymond Green on getting a contract extension with the Golden State Warriors

Draymond said he won't let his contract situation get in the way of defending the title. Let's see if he feels the same way when Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins get an extension.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

“He was crying, bro” — Chauncey Billups revealed why Kobe Bryant was crying after making it to the 2009 NBA Finals

Kobe Bryant was so determined to win a championship without Shaquille O'Neal to the point that his emotions oftentimes consumed him.

Los Angeles Dodgers partner Magic Johnson and wife Cookie Johnson

“I bribed her. I gave her a million dollars” — Cookie Johnson's condition to allow Magic Johnson to return in 1995

The money was just a cherry on the top. Cookie gave Magic a clear ultimatum, or else she would've divorced him.

Shaquille O'Neal and Vince Carter

“I felt like it was close“ — Vince Carter revealed that he was close to teaming up with Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal's unwillingness to play in Canada was a harsh truth pill to swallow for Vince Carter, whose career would've probably been different if he had teamed up with O'Neal.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo

“I appreciate the compliment. It's not going to soften me at all.” — Steph Curry brushes off Giannis Antetokounmpo calling him the “best player in the world”

Compliment or not, Steph Curry says he’s not going to let Giannis Antetokounmpo get into his head with some gamesmanship.