Warriors

Draymond adds to obvious HOF résumé with second gold medal

Warriors
Draymond Green

When players spend their careers alongside basketball legends, often their own greatness can get lost in the shuffle. Overshadowed by the royalty they share the court with.

Such was the case of Scottie Pippen, arguably the best defensive wing in NBA history and a top-25 player of all time who is best known as Michael Jordan's sidekick, painting his greatness as a product of His Airness.

Draymond Green has found himself in a similar predicament. Playing with the greatest shooter in history in Steph Curry, another all-time great marksman in Klay Thompson and arguably the best pure scorer in history in Kevin Durant, those who wish to discredit Green are quick to credit his teammates for Green's accomplishments.

But that is nothing more than ignorance revealing itself. Make no mistake, Green, who added a second gold medal to his illustrious résumé Friday night with Team USA's 87-82 win over France, will be deserving first-ballot Hall of Famer.

"Draymond, the guy is a champion," Steve Kerr told NBC Bay Area's Raj Mathai after the win. "No matter where, you know, high school, college, NBA, Olympian. He's a Hall of Famer. He is just a champion."

Three NBA titles, two gold medals, six All-Defense selections, three All-Star appearances, and one Defensive Player of the Year award are among the list of accolades for Green, who still has a ton of basketball left in the tank to add to it.

 

Green's skills are not as easy to appreciate as a Durant pull-up jumper, nor do they mesmerize like a  Curry barrage. But Green's skills are invaluable to winning basketball. He still is an elite defender and one of the great basketball minds. Green can single-handedly wreck opposing offenses. He is a genius passer and a brilliant cutter.

And yet, his greatest attribute might be the fire he injects into his team when he is on the floor.

Green was the heart and soul of the greatest collection of talent in NBA history and the motor that powered a dynasty that defined an NBA era.

RELATED: Draymond, KD rip Team USA's critics after winning gold

He has done the same thing for Team USA now in back-to-back Olympics, showing that his skillset travels everywhere and works with any group.

"As I say on the Warriors, you got these guys who are great scorers, they do what they do," Green told NBC Bay Area's Raj Mathai after winning gold. "The last thing I need them worrying about is to try and lead the next guy. You do what you do. I'll handle that. I'll try and lock up on the defensive end, I'll make the dirty-work plays, and I think I'm great in that role. So I wanted to come here and be great at it."

Mission accomplished.

After the win, Green hung his second gold medal around his neck, another token of a career destined to be enshrined in the halls in Springfield.

Then, he did what he does -- called out all of Team USA's doubters, adding more fuel to a Hall of Fame fire that is still roaring within.

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