Draymond Green has an admirer in Patrick Ewing.
The Warriors star (6-foot-6) stands five inches shorter than the legendary former New York Knicks center (6-11), but Ewing is nonetheless a fan of Green's approach to the same position. Green's hard-nosed style is even reminiscent of one of Ewing's most formidable teammates.
"I love his game," Ewing said of Green in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area's Chris Mullin, part of which will air during "Warriors Pregame Live," which begins at 3:30 p.m. PT Tuesday on NBC Sports Bay Area. The interview will air in full on an episode of "Dubs Talk" set to be released Tuesday night after Warriors-Knicks.
"He's undersized, he talks trash," Ewing, currently the head coach of Georgetown's men's basketball team, continued. "He reminds me of [Charles Oakley] in a lot of ways. Your guy [Don Nelson] would want him to be the point center, which he is. He brings the ball down, he makes passes, defends guys. I mean, he's a true student of the game. I love his game. I would've loved to have the opportunity to play with him."
Ewing and Oakley patrolled the paint together at Madison Square Garden from 1988 to '98. The 6-8 Oakley was much more of a bruiser than Green, but it's nonetheless an intriguing comparison.
After all, both players were beloved teammates and key cogs in the best defenses of their era, tasked with doing the dirty work and never averaging more than 15 points per game in their respective careers. Oakley didn't have the same play-making chops as Green does, but "Oak" did average 2.5 assists per game in his career.
Ewing's not the only one who sees Oakley in Green. So did LeBron James, who compared the two during a 2017 episode of Uninterrupted's "The Shop" that both Green and Oakley appeared in.
"That’s why he’s so good," James said at the time (h/t Michael D. Sykes, II, then with SB Nation). "These two guys are like carbon copies of each other. ... Oak and Dray are carbon copies of what the league is today and the league at their time."
When one current Basketball Hall of Famer and an eventual one compare you to one of the most intimidating players in NBA history, that's not bad company to keep, even if Green's inner Detroit Pistons fan probably would rather be compared to the other "Bad Boys" of Ewing's era.