Warriors

Hardaway believes Draymond's leadership gives Dubs confidence

Warriors
Draymond and Steph celebrating

Statistically, Draymond Green is having the worst season of his NBA career since his rookie campaign in 2012-13.

Entering Thursday's contest against the Dallas Mavericks, Green is averaging 4.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.6 assists in 17 games. He's shooting 33.3 percent from the field and 19.4 percent from 3-point range.

But everyone associated with the Warriors and anyone that has watched them this season will tell you the team has been completely different since Green returned from a foot injury in the fifth game of the season.

Steph Curry is the Warriors' system, but Green is the heartbeat, voice and traffic cop.

Green's numbers have waned this year, but his leadership is as strong as ever, and former Warriors icon Tim Hardaway Sr. believes the style of the three-time NBA All-Star has a positive effect on his teammates.

"First of all, you gotta do it in practice," Hardaway Sr. said on "Warriors Pregame Live" on NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday. "You gotta show it in practice. You gotta come to practice and give it your all and show them that you can walk the walk. Draymond Green walks the walk. He comes to practice every day. If he's not hurt, he gonna practice, he's going to get on you, he's going to show you what needs to be done and he's going to do it by example."

"Lead by example, help your teammates out, give your teammates confidence, show them that they are better than what they think they are and try to help their skills, enhance their skills every night. That's what Draymond brings to the game each and every night. And they listen to him. And he's a leader."

 

Hardaway Sr. recalled a story from early in Green's career where he was so confident in Curry's abilities and the future of the franchise that he predicted the greatness that was ahead.

"I remember when they first said this, Draymond Green, after his first year, the second year he walked in the locker room, Day 1 of training camp, he said 'Steph, you getting MVP. We're winning the championship this year,' " Hardaway Sr. told Bonta Hill, Chris Mullin and Dorell Wright. "They thought he was just talking smack. They thought he was just talking out the side of his ear. Guess what happened?

"And he led by example the whole year. He stuck the toughest guy, he rebounded the ball. He was the head of the snake and that's why they won that year. He gave his team confidence that they could go out there and beat the world. That's what Draymond Green brings to the table each and every night."

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Green helped the Warriors win their first NBA title in 40 years in his third season, and played a big part in the team that went to the NBA Finals each of the next four seasons while bringing two more championships back to the Bay Area.

The numbers aren't there for Green this season, but the leadership never will go away.

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