Is Draymond Green the greatest defender in NBA history? Draymond Green certainly thinks so.
During a recent appearance on the “Dubs Talk” podcast, the Warriors forward declared that he is the “best defender to ever play in the NBA.” Green, a former Defensive Player of the Year and five-time All-Defensive team selection, has the credentials to be in the conversation, but it’s a bold claim when you start going through the names. Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Bill Russell, Ben Wallace — and that’s just scratching the surface.
Former Celtics and Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, who made an All-Defensive team six times in his career, yelled out an objection on Twitter. Allen borrowed a line from Jay-Z’s “Takeover,” the famous diss track that saw the Brooklyn rapper launch a verbal attack at Nas and Mobb Deep.
Green couldn’t just let that slide, of course. He hopped on Twitter and mocked Allen for his performance during the 2015 Western Conference semifinals. The Warriors made an adjustment against the Grizzlies midway through that series, putting starting center Andrew Bogut on Allen. That allowed Bogut to roam defensively because Allen was a poor outside shooter.
Golden State eliminated Memphis in six games and eventually won the 2015 NBA championship.
That wasn’t the best response considering that opposing teams often employ similar strategies against Green — which Allen was happy to point out.
The conversation ended there, but it’s possible that Green picks it back up in the near future. The man is a professional trash talker, after all.
Even amid a heated debate, though, these defensive specialists have a healthy respect for each other.
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