'Best defender ever': Draymond Green's claim sparks NBA furore

Yahoo Sports Staff
·4-min read
Draymond Green boldly declared himself the NBA's best ever defender - sparking something of a backlash from former defensive specialist Tony Allen. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Draymond Green boldly declared himself the NBA's best ever defender - sparking something of a backlash from former defensive specialist Tony Allen. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors thinks he's pretty great at his job. 

On an episode of the "Dubs Talk" podcast earlier in the week, he let everyone know, in no uncertain terms, just how great he thinks he is.

'BIGGEST MISTAKE': NCAA boss' staggering $4.6 billion blunder

'IT'S WRONG': Steve Kerr fumes over Kevin Durant furore

"You know, I can go all around the league and find good defenders, I just don't think any of them are as good as me," Green said. 

"I think I'm the best defender to ever play this game. One hundred percent. That's my opinion."

Green didn't just leave it there. He elaborated on why he thinks he's better than literally every other defender who has ever played in the NBA.

His defensive versatility helped guide Golden State to three championships in four years, from 2015-2018.

"I also think I view the game a lot differently than most people view the game because I think I just see it from a different perspective," he said. 

"I think when you look at the things that make a good 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 got to rebound, and I think I rebound well.

"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. 

"I think I'm the best defender to ever play in the NBA. I stand by that, I'd put myself up against anyone."

Draymond Green fires up NBA defensive debate

There was no way Green could make such a big statement and get no pushback. 

Former Memphis Grizzlies star Tony Allen, a 15-year NBA veteran and six-time of the NBA All-Defense Team, pushed back in a big way.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Never one to back down from a fight, Green clapped back in short order, twisting the knife by referring to the Warriors' playoff victory over Memphis in 2015, during which the Warriors left Allen, a notoriously poor shooter, practically unguarded.

"I was waiting on you to stamp me big homie, but your stamp book started running low in 2015 when we used you against your team on the way to my 1st championship," Green shot back in reply on Twitter.

It wasn't over. Allen, who Kobe Bryant once called "the best defender I ever faced," went on "The Odd Couple" with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker to discuss Green's "best ever" statement.

Asked by Broussard if Green's declaration that he was the best defender, Allen's response was predictable.

Tony Allen and Draymond Green battle for the ball during the 2015 Western Conference semi-finals. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) (Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)
Tony Allen and Draymond Green battle for the ball during the 2015 Western Conference semi-finals. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) (Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)

“Yeah, you know it did, obviously… That ain’t nothing you just come out and say… It rubbed me the wrong way… He's cut from the cloth I’m cut from," Allen said. 

"Every time I see him play, I see him out there throwing his body out there, ready to get confrontational, ready to disrupt any offense by taking charges, and things of that nature. 

"That’s what I know you for. But I ain't heard Dirk Nowitzki come out and say, 'Man, that bo, Draymond Green…' I ain't heard LaMarcus Aldridge come out and say 'That boy Draymond Green…' Nah, what his game is, he's already stamped. He's a champion. He's a DPOY. But when you say you’re the best in the world? No, stop it… Can he do that same thing if he was on the Charlotte Hornets right now?

"Can he have that same impact on another team? We all know him from passing the ball to Klay, making plays, being disruptive on the defensive end, taking charges, and making the prolific scorer on the other team irritated – that’s his defense to the game. 

"He ain’t locking in no KD the last five minutes of the game and stopping KD from scoring five or six buckets in a row to win. That’s what I call a ‘lockdown defender.’ What he do is very honourable and very respectable, but as far you saying you’re the ‘best’? Man, we gotta talk about this."

Yahoo Sport US/Liz Roscher

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.