Why Draymond kept helping young Warriors drafted to replace him

Why Draymond kept helping young Warriors drafted to replace him originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Draymond Green probably is the most passionate teammate in the NBA. That comes with some issues, but a lot of greatness -- like, four NBA championships great.

Part of being an elite teammate is mentoring younger, inexperienced players, even when some are drafted to take your job. An aspect of Green’s game that doesn’t get talked about enough is his service to younger Warriors over the years.

In talking to one of his mentees, Kevon Looney, on the “Draymond Green Show” on Sunday, Green discussed being a helpful veteran, particularly when knowing Golden State has tried to replace him.

Since [Looney] arrived in San Francisco -- Oakland, actually -- with the Golden State Warriors, he arrived to take my spot,” Green told Looney. “The Warriors kept drafting people to get me out of there for five, six years. I can just name the names, I won’t remember the order. It was like Loon, then [Jordan Bell], Eric Paschall, [Alen Smailagić] and the list went on. The Warriors kept drafting people to replace me.

“And I get it, by the way. It was never like a, ‘Ah, that’s bulls–t,’ or ‘F--k that, I ain’t going to teach this man.’ It was never that for me.”

Green doesn’t take offense to the Warriors’ approaches to the NBA draft in which they repeatedly try to replace him.

Instead, the 12-year NBA veteran teaches his rookie teammates all he knows.

Why? Because that’s what the four-time NBA All-Star did when he was a youngster in college and on the Warriors.

“When David Lee was hurt, I took over the spot and he never stopped teaching me,” Green recalled. “He never stopped teaching me. I love David Lee to death. [He] always will have my love and respect.

“At Michigan State, competition was going on. [Travis Walton] taught us, ‘I’m in competition with Kalin Lucas because he’s coming in to take my spot. But that’s my little brother. And I’m going to teach him everything I know.’

Lee offered Green a helping hand during the then-young forward’s transition into Golden State’s starting lineup, and No. 23 saw how in-house competition should look during his years as a Spartan.

Green has paid it forward not only by helping bring four Larry O'Brien Championship trophies to the Bay but also by teaching his younger teammates like Looney the ins and outs of the game.

“I’ve tried to teach and instill everything I know into this man [Looney] right here because I felt that was my duty,” Green added.

Green did acknowledge the murky situation with former Warriors guard Jordan Poole, but said he took him under his wing before things went South, too.

While Golden State hasn’t hit on any replacements for Green in previous drafts, surely it’ll keep trying.

Regardless, Green, 34, always is ready to show the ropes.

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