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Two weeks ago, Draymond Green made a bold proclamation, claiming the throne as the best defender in the NBA.
When asked to clarify, he took it further.
“Me,” Green said when asked about the best defender ever. “That’s what I believe. Wholeheartedly.”
Green at home on NBA Finals stage
Green held court during NBA Finals media sessions on Wednesday, showing a comfort level and confidence as if the podium was his home, with reporters in the press conference his invited guests.
It’s an earned familiarity that comes with a fifth straight Finals appearance. And nobody on the Warriors relishes that spotlight quite like Green.
When asked, Green expounded on his claim of being the best defender ever and provided some insight into the alpha athlete mindset that’s helped him rise to the top of his profession.
Green: ‘I am the best ever at what I do’
“As a competitor, if you’re trying to do something meaningful, if you don’t have the mindset you’re the best ever, you’ve failed already,” Green said. “... That’s been my mindset since I can remember. That will be my mindset as long as I can remember anything. That I am the best ever at what I do.”
Green’s 5th All-Defensive team nod
Since making his initial proclamation after Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers, Green was awarded NBA All-Defensive second team honors.
It’s the fifth time he’s been named to an All-Defensive team, with three nods on the first team and two on the second.
He’s also relished his increased role on the court in Kevin Durant’s absence, showing his all-around game that’s made him a key member of the Warriors dynasty that’s sometimes been overshadowed with Durant dominating the ball since his arrival in 2016.
Green: Being great not a mistake
Green’s explanation appears to be a tacit acknowledgment that he might not be the best defender ever — that as a competitor he’s obligated to believe it in order fuel his drive to be his best.
Whatever he’s doing, it’s been working just fine.
“Every day that I step on the basketball floor, I will strive to be that,” Green said. “My mindset will always be as such as I am the best to do what I do. And that’ll give me a shot at being the best. But before you can ever reach anything, you have to believe in it.
“You don’t just mistakenly become great at something.”
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