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Draymond Green's biggest regret about the 2016 Finals: "I would have been the Finals MVP"


The 2016 NBA Finals between the Warriors and Cavaliers are among the greatest matchups we have seen in NBA history. The historic 3-1 comeback made by Cleveland on the wings of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving to overthrow the star-studded 73-9 Warriors is the only time in history a team has managed to pull that kind of feat in the Finals. Draymond Green, who was on the other side of that loss, played the best basketball of his career at the time but got forgotten in the majesty of the Cavs win. When he looks back at it, that win could have completely changed how we view Draymond's legacy.

Unquestioned Finals MVP

Draymond has been out with a back injury for a bit now, and he has been doing a lot of media work in the meantime. While appearing on JJ Redick's The Old Man and the Three podcast, Green talked about various interesting topics from his career.

While touching on the subject of the 2016 Finals, his suspension, and superb Game 7 performance that came in a loss, Draymond offered his biggest regret about that series outside of the loss:

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"The one thing when I look back at it, that bothers me. It's that I would have been Finals MVP. And that totally changes the narrative. Good luck leaving me off the NBA's 75 if I was Finals MVP. Good luck even having a debate if I'm a Hall-of-Famer or not if I'm Finals MVP...I win Finals MVP in that series, and there's no debate on anything, and everybody can shut the hell up."

Draymond Green, The Old Man and the Three

As much as it hurt losing for the competitive individual Draymond is, missing out on such a prestigious personal award hurts to this day. Nowadays, Draymond's individual legacy often gets dismissed and disrespected due to his stats not being the flashiest. A lot of people think the Splash Brothers have carried him, but true fans of the game know his game is maintaining that whole system even today. But if he managed to get that Finals MVP to his trophy cabinet, a lot more fans would have been aware of Draymond's impact.

Was he more deserving than Curry?

Now a lot of people would say Draymond couldn't get the MVP before Curry, but just remember what happened the year before. Igoudala took the award from the shadow with his all-around impact, and Draymond took that to the next level while Curry continued to struggle in his second-consecutive Finals.

Draymond ended up averaging 16.5 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 6.3 apg, 1.7 spg, and 1.0 bpg on efficient shooting splits. On the other hand, Curry underperformed, averaging 22.6 ppg and 3.7 apg on 40.3% from the floor. When you add in the monster game Draymond had in Game 7 (32p,15r,9a), it's hard to imagine the MVP award going to anyone besides Green. 

In the end, Green concluded he learned to live with it, not regretting getting suspended after the altercation with LeBron. Draymond found the silver lining in the fact that defeat brought Kevin Durant to Golden State and possibly got him even more championships. The only thing that will probably forever haunt him is not having the opportunity to put that MVP award next to the DPOY award and numerous All-Star selections. But even without a Finals MVP to his name, realistically, Draymond should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

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