Green ruffled some feathers by stating he’s the best defender in NBA history. It was a bold statement from a player who has only won one Defensive Player of the Year Award in his career.
Michael Jordan is too busy and uninterested to respond to Draymond Green’s daring claim. However, one of his former teammates destroyed the Warriors forward for his outlandish comment.
Draymond Green: ‘I’m the best defender to ever play in the NBA’
Draymond Green wholeheartedly believes he’s the best defender in NBA history. He voiced his opinion about his defensive prowess during an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area.
“I think I’m the best defender to ever play this game. One-hundred percent. That’s my opinion,” Green said. “But I also think I view the game a lot differently than most people view the game. I think I just see it from a different perspective. I think when you look at the things that make a great defender, reaction time, toughness, being able to see the picture long before it develops, and most importantly, in order to finish a defensive possession, you’ve got to rebound. And I think I rebound well. And so when I look at all the facets that make up the defensive side of the ball, I think I’m great in every facet. So I think I’m the best defender to ever play in the NBA. I’ll stand by that. I’ll put myself up against anyone.”
Green won the 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year Award. The three-time All-Star has made five All-Defensive teams and can guard all five positions on the floor. He’s one of the best swiss army knives in the game.
During his legendary career, Michael Jordan made nine All-Defensive teams. In 1987-88, he won Defensive Player of the Year and MVP. Only three players (Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Giannis Antetokounmpo) have won DPOY and MVP in the same season.
One of Michael Jordan’s former teammates recently reacted to Draymond Green calling himself the greatest defender of all time. As expected, Green’s comment didn’t sit well with him.
John Salley says Draymond Green is trippin‘
John Salley, who played one season with Michael Jordan on the Bulls in 1995-96, is a big fan of Draymond Green. However, the four-time champion told DJ Vlad of Vlad TV that Green is trippin’ if he truly believes he’s the greatest defender ever.
Salley, who won two titles with the Detroit Pistons, one with the Bulls and one with the LA Lakers, mentioned Dennis Rodman, Alvin Robertson, Gary Payton, Bill Russell, Sidney Moncrief, Ben Wallace, Dikembe Mutombo, Scottie Pippen, and Michael Jordan as defenders he would take over Green.
John Salley also stated that Draymond Green isn’t on his top-10 list of all-time NBA defenders. However, the former Pistons star appreciates the Warriors swingman keeping himself relevant despite not being a talented scorer.
Michael Jordan was a force of nature on both sides of the ball
Michael Jordan not only led the NBA in scoring 10 times, but he also was a three-time steals champion. When he won MVP and DPOY in 1987-88, Jordan averaged 35.0 points per game and 3.2 steals.
Draymond Green led the league in steals per game in 2016-17 when he won DPOY. There is no debating he’s a fantastic defender, but there are plenty of more elite defenders than him in NBA history.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.