Warriors

LaVine says Team USA doesn't win Tokyo gold without Draymond

Warriors
LaVine and Draymond

For 10 seasons, the Warriors and Dub Nation have understood that Draymond Green's value to the franchise goes way beyond the box score.

Green hasn't averaged double-digits in points per game since the 2017-18 NBA season and he never has averaged double-digits in rebounds per game. But his impact on every single Warriors game can be seen by how he anchors the defense and how he handles point-forward responsibilities.

Green is the heart and soul of the Warriors, and over the summer, he provided the same leadership to Team USA as they captured the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

While former Warriors forward Kevin Durant was the offensive leader for Team USA, it was Green that was making sure all the stars on the squad were prepared for each game.

Chicago Bulls wing Zach LaVine was teammates with Green in Tokyo, and he recently credited the Warriors' star for Team USA bringing home the gold medal.

"He was the best teammate you could have for a guy in our situation," LaVine told The Athletic's Marcus Thompson II and Darnell Mayberry (H/T Bleacher Report). "He was the leader of the team. Obviously, we know [Kevin Durant] was the best player. But without Dray, we wouldn't have won. He's the one who had everything [together] in every practice, watching film with the guys, making adjustments, giving guys confidence to come and play their game and just keeping everybody engaged.

 

"You can really see why the Warriors are so good. He's the glue guy. He's the one who makes everything run. At least that's my opinion. He looks out for everybody else before himself."

LaVine saw firsthand how Green can impact games while in Tokyo, and he got another glimpse of it Friday night when the Warriors beat the Bulls 119-93 at Chase Center to improve to an NBA-best 11-1.

RELATED: Draymond had message for world after Team USA's gold-medal win

Green had nine points, nine rebounds, seven assists and was a plus-10 in 28 minutes while playing with a right quad contusion. LaVine led Chicago with 23 points in their fourth loss of the season.

He doesn't stuff the stat sheet, but there's a reason Green was on the Team USA roster. And it's the same reason he's so valuable to the Warriors.

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