Draymond Green.

Watch: Draymond Green receives DPOY award from childhood idol Ben Wallace

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Football News

Draymond Green achieved a huge personal goal last season as he was crowned as the Defensive Player of the Year for the first time in his career.

The Golden State Warriors star stated on numerous occasions that he was keen to secure the honour and was finally recognised as the league's best defender.

He beat off competition from two-time winner Kawhi Leonard to scoop the individual prize to add to the championship ring he secured with the Dubs.

After being named as the DPOY at the inaugural NBA Awards in June, Green received the trophy in front of the Warriors fans in their opening pre-season game last night.

In a touching moment, the power forward was presented with the hardware by his childhood idol and NBA legend Ben Wallace.

The All-Star's reaction was priceless as it was mixed with both surprise and joy to see the former Detroit Pistons man and four-time DPOY winner.

Wallace has been a mentor for Green even before he entered the league and the Dubs star explained his emotions at being handed the trophy by a man he's always looked up to.

“For him to hand that trophy, it meant a lot to me,” Green said.

The 27-year-old is seen as the modern day version of 'Big Ben' and is the current poster boy for defensive-minded big men.

The versatile forward is the defensive lynchpin for Golden State and prides himself on that end of the floor in the manner that Wallace used to.


Head coach Steve Kerr was delighted with Green's reaction to seeing his idol standing mid-court with his trophy.

“That was special. The look on Draymond’s face when he saw Big Ben out there….” Kerr said. “That was his guy. It was cool.”

It was a sentimental occasion but Wallace wanted to add some humour and had a significant message for Draymond.

“I let him know I pulled one of my Defensive Player of the Year trophies off the wall and brought it to him tonight.” Wallace joked. “He needs to catch up.”

Former Detroit Piston Bob Lanier (L) hands Detroit

Having both won a championship and a DPOY award, the duo now share a special bond that will last forever.

But the two-time All-Star still has some way to go to reach the four that Wallace won during a stellar 16-year career, but Draymond has the advantage over him in one category.

“He won one championship. I won two now,” Green said. “I got that edge.”

Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Draymond Green
Stephen Curry
Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division

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