Draymond Green has been in the NBA now for five years since he was drafted with the 35th overall pick by the Golden State Warriors in the 2012 draft.
Since then, Green has been with the Warriors to the NBA Finals three times and has won the NBA Championship twice, something which some players go the duration of their career without winning, as well as winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.
When he originally entered the league, the Golden State star was ranked as the 334th player on ESPN's #NBArank. Today, the power forward is now number 10 on the same list.
During a recent interview with ESPN’s Chris Haynes about a number of different topics including his ranking in ESPN's #NBArank this year and where he was ranked when he first entered the league in 2012.
Green reflected on this and said when he drafted in the second round, it gave him a chip on his shoulder and a reason to prove everybody wrong.
Green said in reaction to his ranking: “I can’t say that when I stepped into the league I thought that. I think coming into the league, you just want to figure it out after being a second-round pick. My whole mindset is just to prove everyone wrong. I just wanted to show that I belonged and tried to have a good career. I can’t say that I foresaw this, but it’s a special thing with all the hard work.
“I can remember as my years went on, people close to me let me see that I could really be good in this league. I used to say to my Nike rep Adrian Stelly, I said, ‘Stells, man, I think I can be an All-Star in this league.’ He was like, ‘Man, do it. I think you can, too,’ and I became an All-Star.
“But it was a progression. It wasn’t like coming to the league and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to be an All-Star’ or yes, ‘Someday people are going to view me as a top-10 player in this league.’ You just want to be good and let the rest kind of handle itself.”
Ultimately, Green wanted to show the NBA that you didn't need to put up great numbers to be considered one of the best players in the league. Considering he's one of the most versatile players in today's game, he has achieved that goal.
“My goal was to show you don’t have to put up those numbers to be considered a great player, and I think I’ve helped carve out that lane. So, I think it’s really being true to who you are and then creating value around whatever that is.
“For me, it’s doing all the little things. Being one of the best passing forwards in the game, defending like crazy, knocking down open shots when they are there. But really, understanding that at the end of the day, the most important thing is winning, so what are you going to do to help your team win? And I think when I looked at the entire situation, that’s just what it was for me.”
Green deserves his spot as one of the top ten players in the NBA today, and time is definitely on his side if he wants to improve that ranking.