BOSTON — Draymond Green is many fascinating things on and off the court, all of which combine into a potent mix capable of supercharging a championship team or making it so combustible that it can wreck those ambitions from the inside.
Green is a future Hall of Famer. An all-time great defensive player. A funny, candid, thoughtful voice on hoops, and its intersection with things much more important. A provocateur. A broadcaster and podcaster who’s effectively live streaming his own career and his team’s pursuit of basketball immortality. A bold — sometimes rash — competitor. A clutch closer who can also careen into self-destruction. A guy who loves calling out others, yet will bristle at even minor criticism.
Green has been one of the key touchstones to the Warriors greatest achievements, and to their most bitter disappointments.
That may be more true today than at any other point in his career, especially with his Golden State Warriors tied heading into Wednesday’s Game 3 of their NBA Finals series with the Boston Celtics.
Effective Draymond is a world-class winner, a player whose individual basketball impact and overall influence on his team are key to the Warriors greatness. Golden State has never lost a seven-game playoff series in which Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have started each game.
The need for Green to be great, and available, feels even starker now, with Thompson looking diminished and Green’s own output in Games 1 and 2 directly connected to his team’s respective loss and win so for far against Boston.
Take Game 2: Green’s defense on Jaylen Brown helped turn off the Boston star’s hot start, which was key in short circuiting a Celtics team that had been looking to put the series away early. Green’s mind games can also prove critical,