Draymond begrudgingly admits Gobert will be Hall of Famer

Draymond begrudgingly admits Gobert will be Hall of Famer originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

As much as it might have pained him to do so, Warriors forward Draymond Green gave Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert his flowers.

Green never has been a big fan of Gobert's game over the years, but recently admitted the Frenchman is "not trash" anymore before then declaring him "BBQ chicken" in his matchup against Nikola Jokić and the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinal round.

It's a complicated relationship.

Green once again conceded that Gobert is deserving of some praise on the latest episode of "The Big Podcast with Shaq," where he told Shaquille O'Neal that Gobert actually deserved to win his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award for the 2023-24 NBA season.

"The Defensive Player of the Year has historically been an award for someone who gets blocks, someone who gets steals," Green explained. "You look at these couple things and you're like 'Oh this guy blocks three shots a game, he's the Defensive Player of the Year because of those shots he's blocking.' I actually don't agree with that.

"What I will say is this. I think Rudy Gobert has gotten a lot better defensively now than what he was years ago. This year was the first time that I thought he actually deserved to win Defensive Player of the Year."

Green believes Gobert stepped his defensive game up this season instead of previously being the beneficiary of more favorable assignments.

"And so this one, I actually think he deserved," Green said. "The other ones? It was a matter of him blocking weakside blocks, because it wasn't like someone was posting him up and he's blocking a shot. No, it's like you drive, he comes weak side and he blocks it. I think he earned this one this year, but all of the other years I was a little skeptical of."

Gobert is just the third player in NBA history to win four Defensive Player of the Year awards. The other two are Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace, both of whom were inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

That begs the question: Does that make Gobert a Hall of Famer?

"It will, because a couple things," Green shared. "It will because when you look at the Hall of Fame, it is the basketball Hall of Fame, it's not the NBA Hall of Fame. I think we oftentimes see some guys from Europe get into the Hall of Fame that we necessarily wouldn't respect that guy being in the Hall of Fame on our terms. But it's not necessarily our Hall of Fame, it's the basketball Hall of Fame.

"So I think he will get in. But is he a Hall of Famer in what we would consider a Hall of Famer?"

Green is willing to give credit where credit is due, but it's clear he still places somewhat of an asterisk on Gobert's overall résumé.

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