Draymond Green, the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, is widely considered one of the best lockdown players in today’s game. But, the Golden State Warriors forward may have taken that praise a bit too far with a statement on Tuesday morning.
Green claims he’s the best defender to ever lace ’em up.
“I think I’m the best defender to ever play in the NBA,” Green told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I stand by that. I’d put myself up against anyone.”
This controversial claim immediately drew the ire of NBA fans from across the league. Some former league players also stepped up to voice their disagreement.
14-year NBA veteran Tony Allen quickly responded to Green’s statement on Twitter.
“BIG [cap]!!! Who stamped you? Who you clamp!? In the words of Jay Z! ‘We don’t believe u, u need more people!’ @money23green,” the former lockdown defender wrote.
BIG 🧢!!! Who stamped you? Who you clamp!?
— Tony Allen (@aa000G9) March 23, 2021
Despite being considered one of the best defenders in the league for most of his long NBA career, Allen never claimed a DPOY trophy of his own. That being said, the former Boston Celtic is certainly an authority on the defensive conversation. Allen was an elite on-ball defender — finishing top 20 in steals through five different seasons. He also led the league in steal percentage twice (2014-14, 2016-17).
While Green has some impressive defensive accomplishments of his own (DPOY, 3x All-Defense, 1st in steals 2016-17, top 20 blocks 2x), to say he’s the greatest defender of all time is pretty ludicrous. In fact, most people don’t even have him ranked in the top 10.
With names like these in the mix, Green’s statement carries a certain level of disrespect:
- Hakeem Olajuwon (2x DPOY, 9x All-Defense, 3,830 career blocks)
- Dennis Rodman (2x DPOY, 8x All-Defense)
- Scottie Pippen (10x All-Defense)
- Dikembe Mutumbo (4x DPOY, 6x All-Defense)
- Ben Wallace (4x DPOY, 6x All-Defense)
- + many others with more impressive defensive resumes
There’s even a very legitimate argument that Green isn’t the best defender in the league today.
Through his 10-year NBA career so far, Kawhi Leonard has collected two DPOY trophies, five All-Defense selections and led the league in steals/defensive rating (2014-15).
With all of these other lockdown legends in mind, Green has quite a ways to go before he can claim the defensive GOAT title.
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