Chris Mullin compares Draymond Green to NBA greats after stellar Game 3

Chris Mullin compares Draymond Green to NBA greats after stellar Game 3

Chris Mullin is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. As he should be.

And as Mullin watched Game 3 of the Warriors-Trail Blazers Western Conference finals Saturday night, he could have sworn he saw another Hall of Famer running out there on the Moda Center court.

"He looked like Magic tonight the way he was pushing the ball full steam ahead after makes and misses," Mullin said of Draymond Green's performance in Golden State's 110-99 win. "Scoring the ball, rebounding, assisting, communicating, I thought he did a great job of keeping just the positive energy, even when they were down."

There came a moment in Saturday's game when that positive energy was deployed expertly and on point. Jordan Bell missed a wide-open dunk, drawing jeers from the Portland crowd. Shortly thereafter, Green tried to refocus his younger teammate, and the microphones picked up his message.

Mullin, who stepped down as head coach at St. John's University in April, knows full well the value of having a player like Green who can communicate that message from a place of earned authority. In Mullin's eyes, Green's seemingly endless storage of energy and enthusiasm doesn't come about by accident.

"I really think the way Draymond, the last month or two with his fitness level increasing, I think when you're physically fit and you don't get tired, you're sharper mentally, you've got a more positive feel about what's going on, no matter what that is," Mullin said. "Your decision-making is sharper. You don't fatigue mentally or physically, so you have that extra energy to help your teammates."

Green certainly didn't appear to tire throughout Game 3, over which he tallied a triple-double with 20 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. He also collected four steals and one block, meaning he has five combined blocks and steals in all three games of the best-of-seven series thus far.

Green believes he's the best defender in NBA history. Is Mullin ready to give him that title?

"Right now, the way the game's played, he's up there as the best defensive player that's out there right now, no question about it," Mullin said of Green's claim. "The way he played tonight? He was one of the best players ever in the history of the game, because he was defensive, he was offensive, he was leading. He did everything."

One of the best players ever, even if just for one night. That's some high praise from someone who knows what it takes to be one of the best.

Mullin didn't stop there with the compliments.

[RELATED: Draymond: Locked-in Steph taking Dubs to 'different level']

"Look, they're getting ready to go to their fifth Finals in a row," Mullin said of the Warriors. "Steve Kerr is getting close to where Red Auerbach was -- that's saying something. And all these players are falling in line with all the legends of the game, whether it be [Larry] Bird, Magic [Johnson], [Michael] Jordan ... they're up in that category with their team and their individual performances."

After winning Game 3, only one more victory lies between the Warriors and that fifth consecutive NBA Finals berth. If Green keeps playing like a Hall of Famer, that's bound to happen sooner rather than later.

Why Mychal Thompson thinks Steph Curry will make 500 3-pointers this year

Why Mychal Thompson thinks Steph Curry will make 500 3-pointers this year

The Warriors' roster turnover this summer has been well-documented, but Mychal Thompson things it will bring out the best in Steph Curry next season.

Curry will have to adjust to life without Kevin Durant next season, after the star signed with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency. The two-time MVP also will miss Klay Thompson -- Mychal's son -- for much of the campaign as the Splash Brother recovers from a torn ACL. Because of that, the elder Thompson thinks Curry has the potential for a record-breaking season in 2019-20.

"Now, they're not going to be as good as they were last year -- and by the way, I predict Steph is going to have 500 3s this year without having to share the ball that much back in the backcourt with Klay," Mychal said Friday on SiriusXM NBA Radio. "So he's going to come back to his MVP form we saw two years ago."

Curry set the NBA's single-season record with 402 made 3-pointers en route to the first unanimous MVP in league history in 2015-16. He did so leading a historic Warriors team that went 73-9, and Klay finished second on Golden State that season with 276 made 3-pointers. 

Klay made 241 -- and attempted 599 -- triples last year, while Curry made 354 and attempted 810. Assuming Thompson returns after the All-Star break, there could be enough touches for Curry to shatter his own record. However, summer acquisition D'Angelo Russell made just seven fewer 3-pointers than Thompson last season. He probably will take fewer shots as the No. 2 option behind Curry to start the season, but Russell's presence probably lowers Curry's record-setting ceiling. 

[RELATED: Steph comments on learning about KD's decision on plane]

Curry unquestionably will have to carry a bigger load for as long as Klay's out next season. But when his son returns, Mychal thinks the Warriors will find themselves on the same level as other Western Conference contenders. 

"[Draymond Green] is motivated to have a great year because his contract year is coming up," the elder Thompson continued.  "So I think [Curry and Green] -- and with the addition of D'Angelo Russell and the other role players that they've signed -- I think they'll be right in the mix. Somewhere between a five [or] six seed until Klay comes back 100 percent, and then they'll be ready to make their move." 

Steph Curry reveals wild prank Warriors vet played on him as rookie

Steph Curry reveals wild prank Warriors vet played on him as rookie

Hazing happens in all walks of life, including the NBA.

Before Steph Curry became a two-time NBA MVP and three-time NBA champion, he was a rookie.

While in Lake Tahoe for the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament last week, he revealed the following story to Chris Simms of NBC Sports on "Unbuttoned":

"I had a vet when I was a rookie -- I had my phone, mind you I'm dating my now wife at the time and I'm going on a road trip so I need my phone obviously -- we had finished practice and we were headed to the airport, and he knew where my phone was.

"He knew I always put it in this little pocket in my backpack. So after practice, I go get in the shower and put my phone in there. I'm kind of late so I'm hustling. He knows after I get out the shower I'm probably not gonna grab my phone.

"Take my phone, locks it in his locker. I get all the way to the airport and realize I don't have my phone. I get off the plane in Oklahoma City, not only did he make me leave my phone at home so I had to go to the store to get another one, he sent me on basically a two-hour errand run to go get video games and snacks.

"This is before Uber or Lyft so I'm in the yellow cab and paying for everything. That's just a headache."

Who was the veteran -- Anthony Tolliver, Corey Maggette, Ronny Turiaf, Mikki Moore or Vladimir Radmanovic? Perhaps it was Devean George?

Unfortunately, Curry did not disclose that information.

We also don't know if it was the Dubs' first or second game in Oklahoma City that season.

[RELATEDCurry comments on finding out about KD's decision on plane]

On Dec. 7, Curry registered 22 points, two assists, four steals and five turnovers in a 104-88 loss (Kevin Durant recorded 28 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and six turnovers).

On Jan. 31, Curry contributed 14 points, five assists and five turnovers in a 112-104 loss (KD racked up 45 points and 11 rebounds).

That likely will remain a mystery, but what we do know is that NBA stars are just like us - pranks and all.

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