Michigan State men's basketball raised Draymond Green's No. 23 to the Breslin Center rafters Tuesday night. Any dry eyes in the crowd didn't belong to the Warriors star.
Green got choked up during his speech addressing the crowd at halftime of Michigan State's game against Duke, saying that his goal growing up was just to play for the program.
"Man, I said I wasn't going to get emotional but it's ... this is special," he said. "I come here -- every time I walk in this arena, I look up there. And now I walk in here, and I'll see my name up there."
Draymond Green fighting back tears: “As a kid from Saginaw, Mi, my dream was to play at Michigan State, it was never to get my jersey retired and I lived that dream.” pic.twitter.com/3D7TuosRe1— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) December 4, 2019
"As a kid from Saginaw, Michigan, my goal and dream was to play at Michigan State ... and I lived that dream."— ESPN (@espn) December 4, 2019
Draymond Green got choked up during his Michigan State jersey retirement ceremony. pic.twitter.com/fbBQyR6l2l
In four years with the Spartans, Green averaged 10.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. He gradually grew into one of coach Tom Izzo's most reliable players, earning Big Ten Player of the Year honors as a senior. The Spartans made two Final Four appearances and another Sweet 16 during Green's time in East Lansing.
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Current and former Warriors teammates D'Angelo Russell, Klay Thompson and Zaza Pachulia attended the ceremony, as did coach Steve Kerr, general manager Bob Myers and CEO Joe Lacob. A number of Michigan State alumni were in the crowd, too, like Denzel Valentine, Jaren Jackson and fellow jersey number retiree Steve Smith.
"I played four great years here in front of the best fans in the world," Green said of the Breslin Center crowd, "and the relationship between myself and you guys is still going and it'll go for the rest of my life."
Given what Lacob has said about former Warriors Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala deserving the honor, it won't be long after Green retires that his No. 23 also will hang at Chase Center.