Draymond Green, the undisputed defensive stopper for the Golden State Warriors, admitted that he is still miffed about being snubbed for the NBA’s All-Defensive first team last season after being in the running as the league’s defensive player of the year the previous two seasons.
Green told the San Francisco Chronicle Monday that despite injuries that slowed him last year, it was “crazy” that writers relegated him to the NBA All-Defensive second team.
“It’s important,” Green said of the snub on the All-Defensive team, per the Chronicle. “I was second-team All-Defense (last season). That’s crazy. So, yeah, I’ve got to get that.”
The Michigan State product has been a mainstay along with Stephen Curry on a team that has won three of the last four NBA titles, all against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the league finals.
Now their nemesis is playing for the Los Angeles Lakers in the same Pacific Division in the NBA’s Western Conference.
Green was only one of four players in the NBA to average at least 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game despite being slowed by minor injuries, the newspaper stated. While Green admitted that not being selected to the team was “probably a little bit on me,” it doesn’t make him any less upset.
“I don’t think any voter can tell me (there are) five defensive players better than me,” Green said, before pausing, the Chronicle wrote. “I’ll wait.”
Green is currently nursing a lingering injury to his left knee that kept him out of the starting lineup Monday in a preseason game against the Phoenix Suns, according to KNTV. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he would like to see him back in the lineup Wednesday in a Las Vegas exhibition against James and the newly formulated Lakers.
“(Green is) working his way back,” Kerr said, according to the network. “We’d like to get him in the game Wednesday.
Despite the All-Defensive team snub, the Warriors will again be favorite to win another NBA title after adding DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins to its already All-Star-studded lineup.
Curry, the team’s long-range threat with Keven Durant, told ESPN he won’t shy away from talk about winning a third consecutive crown.
“We talk about the three-peat just because it’s in front of us,” Curry said, as noted by ESPN. “I don’t think that’s something that’s repeated every single day. But when we start the season, obviously we lay everything out on the table, what’s at stake in terms of our expectations.”
The Warriors will be trying to become the first team to “three-peat” since the Magic Johnson-led Los Angeles Lakers team won three straight titles from 2000-2002, per the sports network.