OAKLAND, Calif. — Draymond Green wants to win another Defensive Player of the Year award and admits that it is a big goal of his this season.
“I need that,” Green said Wednesday night after the Golden State Warriors’ 131-121 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. “I need that bad. Real bad. I made second team all-defense last year. I’m pissed about that still. I’ll be pissed until I right that, so that’s a serious goal of mine this year. And I’m on it every night.”
Green won his first Defensive Player of the Year award in 2016-17. Aside from the pride he takes in winning the award, another motivation for Green is that if he wins the award again this season, he will be eligible to sign a super-max extension this summer.
As ESPN’s Bobby Marks pointed out recently, “Green would be eligible for a five-year, $235 million extension that would start in 2020. Keep in mind that because of Stephen Curry’s contract, Golden State can sign only one more player to a super max.”
Green said he wakes up each morning with the award on his mind.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I’m pissed. Second-team All-Defense, that’s disrespectful.”
After missing several weeks of training camp because of a sore knee, Green has found his form as the Warriors continue rolling through the league. Green almost racked up a triple double, scoring 16 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and dishing out eight assists on Wednesday.
“I thought he was probably the best player on the floor tonight,” Kerr said. “I know other guys had some big point totals and all that, but this was not a very clean game for us and when the game gets a little grimy that seems to be when Draymond is at his best. We needed his grit, his rebounding, his defense and he came through in a big way.”
His teammates never doubted that he would round into form quickly this year, despite missing much of camp.
“He didn’t change his name, and he’s still Draymond Green, No. 23 for the Warriors,” Curry said. “You never worry about him finding a way to impact the game. [Whether] he’s making or missing shots, whatever, he always gets timely stops. He’s talking, an emotional leader, so just like it was with Klay [Thompson] shooting a basketball, you never worry about Draymond getting implemented into an all-around game that helps us get wins. It’s great to see him with a little pep in his step, a little juice and excitement out there. He’s playing well.”
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