Warriors

What Mark Jackson told Draymond right after Warriors drafted him

Warriors

Draymond Green entered the NBA as the No. 35 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

He was the third player -- Harrison Barnes at No. 7 and Festus Ezeli at No. 30 -- the Warriors selected that year.

So what was his mindset when he arrived in the Bay Area?

"So when you go into these NBA organizations, they immediately want you to be who they want you to be," Draymond told Cari Champion on "The Brownprint" podcast. "I didn't want to be who they wanted me to be.

"And I also had a coach in Mark Jackson who told me from the very beginning, 'Listen, I want you to come here as the same Draymond I've been watching on TV for years. I want you to be an animal, be a dog and be a leader. I don't care who is in front of you, I don't care who has more money than you, who has more status in the league than you -- I want you to come in and be the same leader that you've been your whole life.'

"And I'm forever thankful for Mark Jackson because to hear that from your head coach as a second-round pick, it's almost like a stamp of approval. And I think a lot of guys don't necessarily get that coming into the league. I was very fortunate to have Mark Jackson tell me that from the very beginning."

 

After averaging 13.4 minutes per game as a rookie, Draymond's playing time increased to 21.9 minutes per game in 2013-14.

With Andrew Bogut sidelined for all seven games of the Warriors' 2014 first-round playoff matchup against the LA Clippers, the Michigan State product averaged 32.5 minutes per game -- registering 11.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks.

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Now, let's circle back to late June 2012 real quick.

"So when I stepped off the plane, I was coming in like, 'F--k ya'll. I'm here to get a spot. I'm here to help this team win,' because they were some f--king losers," the three-time NBA champion said. "I had never lost in my life. So I came in talking s--t to everybody. I came in trying to get as many minutes as I possibly can.

"I wanted to come in and try to change the mentality of this organization that had been getting their f--king heads cracked for years on end."

Speaking of "change," the Warriors fired Jackson shortly after their Game 7 loss to the Clippers in 2014, and hired Steve Kerr.

The new coach's plan was for Draymond to come off the bench, but everything shifted when David Lee strained his hamstring in the preseason finale on Oct. 24, 2014.

Lee missed the first three three games of the season, returned for seven minutes in Golden State's fourth game, and was sidelined for the next 21 games.

Draymond took his place in the starting lineup, averaged 13.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks through Dec. 18, and was integral in the Warriors racing out to a 22-3 record.

Lee never got his spot back and was traded a month after Golden State won the 2015 NBA title.

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"David Lee was in front of me -- David Lee was a great vet to me by the way, I love D-Lee to this day. But when we're in practice, I'm trying to take David Lee's head off," Draymond told Champion. " 'You're an All-Star. I'm sorry -- but you're in my way. I need that spot.'

"And I'm never gonna go about it in a way of trying to hurt you. Or I'm on the bench and I'm not cheering for you. I would never do that. But to me, it just felt like he was in my way. What do I have to do to move you out of my way? That was always my mindset.

"Am I saying that I'm the person that changed this organization and made them win? No, but I think I definitely had a hand in that."

The two-time All-NBA selection absolutely played a big role in making that happen. If you believe otherwise, you profoundly are mistaken.

I truly cannot wait to see what Draymond has in store for the basketball world next season, as his motivation level could be at an all-time high.

 

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