Warriors

How Draymond criticizing Jokíc turned into special moment

Warriors

Draymond Green is one of the more outspoken players in the NBA and never shies away from saying what’s on his mind. 

Draymond’s mouth has gotten him into some trouble in the past, as he often is one of the league leaders in technical fouls and has even been fined for comments made about Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker.

But given the success that the three-time All-Star forward has brought to the Warriors and his overall impact on the league over the past decade, a critical Draymond Green is usually worth listening to, no matter how harsh. 

Draymond also moonlighted as a TV analyst over the last two years after the Warriors' season had ended.

On TNT’s “Inside the NBA” during 2020 season, Draymond was extremely critical of Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokíc and his lack of effort on the defensive end.

“I had four clips at halftime and it was a Nuggets game, and I went at Jokíc’s defense,” Green said on a recent episode of “The Draymond Green Show." “I’m like ‘if they’re ever going to be a good team, he’s the backline of the defense, he has to be good defensively’. And I showed four clips of him not rotating over to the low man, him not moving, four clips. And I was very critical of him.”

 

The Joker was aware of Draymond’s analysis, and had some complimentary words of his own for Draymond after the critique. 

“He came up to me that following year and said something along the lines of ‘I saw what you said about my defense, you were right’ or ‘I appreciate it’ and he said ‘I’ve gotten better’, I said ‘you’ve 100-percent gotten better, I’ve been watching you this year, and you’ve 100-percent gotten better’. And that was a big moment for me because this TV thing is new,” Draymond said. 

Draymond's harsh words motivated Jokíc to be better -- and he was. 

RELATED: Incredible Warriors stat when Draymond has triple-double

Jokíc was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player after averaging 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists during the 2020-21 season. 

So far this season, he is averaging nearly identical numbers across the board.  However, it appears the 6-foot-11 reigning MVP is getting even more aggressive, averaging 13.5 rebounds (11.1 on the defensive end vs. last season’s average of eight defensive boards). 

Maybe great things do happen to those who listen to one of the greatest defenders of this generation, after all. 

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