NBC Sports

Energized by presence of son, Draymond leads Warriors to win

NBC Sports
Draymond and DJ

SAN FRANCISCO – Whenever the Warriors are feeling blue or otherwise lethargic, they look to Draymond Green. He embraces being the primary energy source, and he was terrific in that role Monday night in a 113-98 win over the Kings.

But where does Draymond turn in those instances when his long-duration batteries need recharging?

That would be his 4-year-old son, Draymond Jr., affectionately known as DJ.

“That’s a part of my motivation,” Green said after the game at Chase Center. “I want him to see and understand that I can play a little bit.”

A little bit? Green this season is playing at a level that puts him among the top candidates for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award, which he openly covets. The Warriors have been the top defensive team in the league, and Draymond is the hub of everything they do on that end.

On this night, realizing that teammates Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole – the Golden State’s No. 2 and No. 3 scorers – were in the league-mandated health and safety protocol, Green made a point of producing on offense.

“I just knew I needed to be more aggressive,” Draymond said. “Obviously, there would be shot opportunities there, because that’s probably 20-something shots you’re taking out of the lineup. So, I knew I had to take advantage of the situation.

“I just had to be aware of that and try to be more aggressive. And I think I did a pretty good job. I had some where I could have been more aggressive. But overall, I thought it was good. I have to stay that way as long as those guys are out. Continue to attack the rim and take shots when they are there, because we’re missing a lot with those two guys out.”

 

The result? Green’s first triple-double this season and the 31st of his career: 16 points (7-of-11 from the field, including 1-of-2 from deep), 11 rebounds and 10 assists. That pretty much guarantees success, as the Warriors are 30-1 when he delivers a triple-double. For good measure, he had two of Golden State’s 12 steals and also two blocks.

How, then, did the Kings, with six players sidelined by COVID-19 restrictions, were hanging around, even taking a brief lead late in the third quarter. Stephen Curry struggled through the three quarters before scoring 15 points in 10 minutes as the Warriors pulled away in the fourth.

Throughout the evening, Draymond brought energy to a team that needed it. 

“He's our emotional leader, obviously, but he's just so good defensively,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Finds a way to get a blocked shot, to get a steal, to make the rotation that screws up the offensive possession. And then, all of a sudden, we're getting out running and getting some momentum. He just has a knack for it. He’s been doing it a long time.”

While Draymond was lighting up the Kings, DJ was serving as a ball boy, an unofficial assistant to vice president of team operations Eric Housen. Among the duties are handing out towels and picking up shirts and sweats.

“He was great,” Green said. “He was Johnny-on-the-spot with the towels, running to the table picking shirts, bringing guys their stuff. I did see a little video of him handing a shirt to Klay (Thompson) and not Cheese (Chris Chiozza). Other than that, he was fantastic. Well-behaved. He stayed out of the way but got in there when he needed to get in there and scoop the towels up.”

RELATED: E-40 "super excited" for Klay's return to Warriors

As to which of the two Greens had the more impressive game, well, that depends on your perspective.

Draymond clearly cherished the opportunity the Warriors afforded his son as a birthday gift (DJ turns 5 on Wednesday). But DJ, who often appears at team practices at Chase Center, surely valued the time he spent on game night.

Little does he know the impact he had on his father.

Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast