Former Michigan basketball star Draymond Green added to an excellent 10-year career with Golden State on Thursday, when Green and the Warriors won their fourth NBA championship in eight years.
Green, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson are the only players to have started all four Golden State championships. Curry has already made his first induction into the Hall of Fame when he’s ready to call it his career, and I think Thompson will be in Springfield someday too.
But what about Green?
While the former Spartan doesn’t make the headlines that Curry and Thompson get, Greene was the consummate glue and a vital part of the Warriors’ title.
During the 2022 NBA Finals, Greene placed in the all-time top 10 in both assists and steals in the Finals. He joined NBA legends Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, LeBron James and Scottie Pippen as the only players to finish in the top 10 in both assists and steals in the Finals.
The 10-year veteran also became only the fifth player (Julius Irving, LeBron James, Robert Horry, Hakeem Olajuwon) to record 200-plus blocks and 200-plus steals in the NBA playoffs.
Golden State has built an entire dynasty around high-frequency, effective three-point shots. That’s where Curry and Thompson excel at, and Kevin Durant has added another deadly scorer to the Warriors’ roster for two of those four titles.
But championship teams also need an enforcer—someone who is willing to do the dirty work, like rebounding and defending physically. Here is such a basketball player Green.
While the 2012 Big Ten Player of the Year doesn’t often light up the scoreboard and won’t be remembered as a great shooter, Green is hardly a liability in the offensive end of the floor. He led Golden State in assists per game in the playoffs in four of the franchise’s eight postseason appearances in his 10-year career, and also led the Warriors in assists per game in the regular season five times in those 10 years.
Scroll to continue
During his career, Green scored 7672 points, 6059 rebounds, 4625 assists, 1177 steals and 913 blocks. He led Golden State in four statistical categories (rebounds, assists, steals, blocks) during the playoffs in three separate playoffs (2015–16, 2017–18, and 2018–19) and led the Warriors in three statistical categories (rebounds, assists). , steals) during the regular season twice (2017-18, 2018-19).
In addition to being a four-time NBA champion, Green is a four-time NBA All-Star and has earned All-NBA Second Team (2016) and All-NBA Third Team (2017) honors. He led the league in steals in 2017 and became the NBA’s top defenseman the same year.
Green was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team four times (2015–2017, 2021) and the NBA All-Defensive Second Team three times (2018, 2019, 2022).
And these are just the achievements that Green has achieved in the professional ranks. The former Spartan also had a distinguished career at Michigan State.
During his senior season in 2012, Green was named NABC National Player of the Year, Big Ten Player of the Year, and was selected to the All-American First Team and All-Big Ten First Team. He was also named to the All-Defensive Big Ten team and was the Big Ten Tournament MVP that season.
Green also earned third-team All-Big Ten honors during his junior and sophomore years as a Spartan and was the 6th Big Ten Man of the Year in 2010. He was a rookie on the 2008-09 Michigan State runner-up team and helped the Spartans return to the Final Four as a sophomore in the 2009-10 season.
Green is Michigan State’s all-time leader in career rebounds with 1,096 and the school’s single-season rebounding record with 394 in high school. Green also ranks second in career steals as a Spartan with 180, and he was sixth in single-season steals with 60 in 2010-11. Finally, Green also ranks eighth all-time in career with 117 rejections as a Spartan.
The State of Michigan retired No. 23 Green in December 2019.
His basketball career is not over yet, and the Golden State dynasty may not end either. But when Greene gets to the point where his playing days are over, he will have one of the most colorful basketball careers of any player and one day be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.