Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green raised several eyebrows after calling himself the best defender to ever grace the NBA.
The outspoken forward said he possesses all the qualities that make a great defensive stalwart like swift reaction time, toughness, penchant for predicting plays, and ability to rebound.
“I think I’m the best defender to ever play this game in the NBA. One hundred percent, that is my opinion,” Green told the Dubs Talk podcast.
“When I look at all the facets that make up the defensive side of the ball, I think I’m great in every facet that makes up that side of the ball.”
The Warriors have benefitted from the stifling defense of the 6-foot-6 workhorse, building an NBA dynasty that produced 3 championships in 5 finals appearances from 2015 to 2019.
Green also has hardware to show for his vaunted defense as he clinched a Defensive Player of the Year award in 2017.
But several basketball personalities took exception to his comments, saying Green is far from the defensive level of other NBA greats.
“Hakeem Olajuwon, Ben Wallace, and Kevin Garnett were all better defenders than Draymond,” former NBA player and current analyst Kendrick Perkins wrote on Twitter. “Carry on.”
Wallace is tied with Dikembe Mutombo for most Defensive Player of the Year plums in NBA history with 4 nods, while Olajuwon and Garnett won the award in the same year they were named the Most Valuable Player.
Tony Allen, who played against the Warriors in the Western Conference playoffs, also called out Green.
“Big cap! Who stamped you? Who [did] you clamp?” Allen wrote on Twitter.
Richard Jefferson, a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers crew that came back from a 1-3 deficit to beat Green and the Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, took a sarcastic approach.
“The most underrated part about Dray is his humility even when he is being honest. The only thing he truly lacks is confidence,” Jefferson commented on an Instagram post about Green.
Still, Green remained defiant.
“I think I’m the best defender to ever play in the NBA. I stand by that. I’ll put myself up against anyone.” – Rappler.com