FLEX ON EM!!!
In my 33 years of living, I’ve watched my fair share amount of basketball. Generationally speaking, Draymond Green is one of only a handful of NBA players today, who could of thugged it out back in the day. As a Warriors fan for 23 years, I can appreciate the championship he won us in 2015. Yes I said it, HE WON US. (Yes I know it’sucks a team game but no one can guard all 5 positions). Without Draymond Green my Warriors wouldn’t have an identity. They would be fun to watch (talking to you Rockets and Clippers) but ultimately flame out in the first round of the playoffs. Why is defense overlooked? Why is having a basketball IQ overlooked?
Well, I’ll explain to you why. One reason is the commitment on defense. Oftentimes how many NBA players get beat on a simple jab step or a simple basketball move? Today’s NBA players do not play with a strong base. They play flat footed and are clueless on what to do. AAU and High Schools do not preach the importance of playing good, fundamental basketball. They reward offensive players so much. Everything is predicated on scoring. A lot of players reach and get beat on D. Panic sets in and most NBA players lose sight of their defensive assignment. It happenes nearly on every possession today. The mentality is basically “If my man scores on me, oh well I am going to score on him.” Defense is all about imposing your will on your opponent. Outsmarting and out matching the offensive player is a skill that is diminishing in basketball today. Defense is not sexy, it does not sell shoes, it does not get you on the highlight reel and it might not get you other “extra curricular”😉 things off the court but it does win championships. And if the goal is to win championships I just don’t see why so many people do not commit to this end of the ball.
Could it also be that defense is a survival trait that many has to possess coming from bad neighborhoods? Especially for black men, we constantly have to defend ourselves. In every aspect of life. That translates on to the court. Look at all the greatest defenders in NBA history. They all had to overcome poverty, war drugs, gangs, rebels etc. From Kareem, Hakeem, To Rodman, To Dikembe, To Gary Payton, To Ben Wallace, To Draymond, To Kawhi, these players went through hardships beyond the imagination. And these are just a few. It is hard to get somebody who has never been through hardships to commit on defense (being subjective of course) but you can tell sometimes who does not have that heart or determination to emasculate their opponents pride on the court, while playing their hardest. It’s a man’s game down there. (Woman’s game too).
Sure Draymond kicks people in the balls. I am not disputing that and I think he got what he deserved because that is a no go. However, who else is going to be the pit bull of the team? When u do dirty work, it’s always appealing to the masses to have the out of sight, out of mind mentality. For example: You ever wonder what goes on in an NFL pile on a fumble? I know what goes on. I seen it close as a fan. But if you was to see, you would be mortified. Unfortunately, it’s part of the game and part of winning.
I decided to write this post because Draymond Green played his hometown Pistons last night and his stat line read: in 38 mins he scored 5pts, 12ast, 10rebs, 2stls, 1blk while being 1/8 from the field, 4 turnovers, and 4 fouls. 12ast and 10 rebs? After flying home from Brooklyn the day before to see the birth of his son. Wow what other NBA player would even care that he scored 5pts. His team won in front of his hometown crowd, (Yes Saginaw pride, I know it’s not Detroit but close) and he has baby son. That motor is something you can’t buy. You have to be born with it or raised in it and Draymond toughness will keep the Warriors winning. Not KD, Not Steph, Not Klay. It’s Dray. The way this league is headed, 3 pointers will not be as impressive considering how many none shooters shoot 3’s now. You can develope offensive players and they can become great, but defensively you can not do that.